Facebook announced a new feature that will be available in Ireland first, and then getting to other places: the ability to transfer your photos directly to other platforms without first having to download them. In the beginning, this function will only take your images to Google Photos, although it is likely that in the future add more sites.
This is a preview of the tool, portability of already existing data of Facebook, “Download your information” which allows the user to keep on your computer a copy of everything that has been put on Facebook. The company told Digital Trends that “the feedback that we have received over the years indicates to us that although this tool is useful, it is not fluid enough for users to pass information directly from one service to another”.
“Give people the choice and control of their data and the services that are used to build up trust – and ultimately, that is crucial for us as a business,” continues the text. What is to be seen while the tool reaches out to more places in the next few months, is whether this will be the beginning of a new mass exodus from the platform of Facebook.
“If I were Facebook, I would have pondered this very carefully. I would have done tests to see if the photo really is what keeps the people there,” said Marc Jamison, director of the Research Centre of Public Services of the University of Florida, Digital Trends.
For many people who take a decade or more in Facebook, this social network can double as a photo file. The photos, the expert pointed out, keep people in Facebook, although not necessarily active, and now Facebook should be careful and make sure that its new tools are designed to make people return. “The way sharing should be designed in a way that turns Facebook into a platform preferred by users to store things that can move then,” he said.
“The response cynical is that you have to do this,” said Ross Schulman, principal consultant and technologist’s main policies at the Institute of Open Technology of the New America, when asked why Facebook would want to be so friendly with other platforms. There are currently too many standards, told Digital Trends, including laws such as the General Regulation of Data Protection in Europe and Privacy Law, the California Consumer, who make a portability of the simple data is mandatory.
“There are governments that are pushing because maybe Facebook is too big, maybe you have too much data,” added Jamison. “This is a way to address that, it weakens those arguments,” he said.
Schulman added that “people I have spoken to in the industry generally seems to see the portability of the data as a net. It is a kind of sign of good will. It does not look good you can capture your users and listen to them very complicated to go to another place”.
Does the ability to transfer photos to another platform will cause a mass exodus? Schulman does not know, but what I do hope is that this will allow the competitors of the social network of Mark Zuckerberg can enter more easily to the game and that this is a good net for competition, especially if Facebook has become self-indulgent.
“If what keeps the people in Facebook are photos and that restriction is present, we could see the emergence of a social network competitor is more focused on the photos,” he said. That already happened, to some extent, with Instagram, which Facebook promptly acquired. Even so, Schulman noted that the portability of data could facilitate new social networks to innovate with features and new concepts.
“You can downgrade to the new service without having to download gigabytes of data and re-upload. There are people who don’t have fast broadband at home; this really opens the doors for a competitor and, therefore, for the innovation,” he said.
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