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New Instagram tool lets you download a copy of all your data

Instagram announced plans to offer a data download tool a while ago, and today the Facebook-owned image sharing network delivered.

The driving force behind the project has been the requirement to comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) privacy law, which requires organizations to let individuals download any data that’s been gathered on them. The tool is now available on the Instagram website, ahead of the May 25th deadline.

To use the tool, simply enter your email and Instagram password, and Instagram will send you a "link to a file with your photos, comments, profile information and more." The page says the process may take up to 48 hours, but I received the download link almost instantaneously when trying the feature.

Data is provided in a zip-file that includes all your photos and videos, neatly sorted into folders by upload month. Comments, settings, messages and other non-image information is packed in the JavaScript Object Notation (json) format, so you'll need a suitable app for viewing.

According to the Instagram help pages, you should also be able able to download your data file through the "Account Data" option in the app settings but, at least in the case of my Android app, the required update has not made it through to my device yet at this point.

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MPS Photographic

How large are the zip files? They might be huge if someone has years of data.

7 months ago
Andrei C

Well already after I post a pic on instagram , a pic is saved in my phone. But I consider them useless with a resolution 1080x1018 which is less than 2 megapixels. I wish they implement that the full res photo is saved in my phone, and they can post the downscaled one.

8 months ago
NJOceanView

"Comments, settings, messages and other non-image information is packed in the JavaScript Object Notation (json) format...." What a passive-aggressive move by IG/FB! Why not present it in a manner anyone can read easily -- *.txt or even *.pdf or even *.doc/docx. We here at DPR are more technical than most, but what about someone who has been posting for years directly off their phone who doesn't understand or even know what JavaScript Object Notation format is? Why make it ANY harder to get this information than it has to be? Sigh.

8 months ago
MistaOtta

JSON is one of the most common ways to package and import data. It is also very much human-readable and very easy to extract data from. JSON defines a standard to store information; whereas PDFs and Word documents are simply file formats with a lot less inherent structure. It would be very similar if you were to export blog articles and comments in XML format.

8 months ago
huyzer
huyzer

I appreciate all the comments, etc. But I was expecting all the pictures in one folder not separated by dates. :D But, eh. It's free. Haha

8 months ago
saiko

How do you read the JSON format?

8 months ago
huyzer
huyzer

saiko
I'm using a free program called "Brackets".
EDIT: But, actually, you can just open it with a simple text editor like Notepad.

8 months ago*
huyzer
huyzer

Thanks for the news. Just set mine to download. ;)
Here's my Instagram if anyone is interested:
https://www.instagram.com/huyked

Wenmei even follows me! Woot! xD Thanks, Wenmei! :D

8 months ago
Charles Chien

It would be nice if DPReview also create a feature such that one can download all the threads, photos and comments one had been involved in. After all, everything is in the database, and it should not be hard to implement.

8 months ago
Schweikert

Not understanding why I need this. People act as if this is amazing, please explain WHY.

8 months ago
definedphotography

I know. Surely, if you took the picture on your phone or camera, you already have these stored (& possibly backed up) somewhere?

8 months ago
WillWeaverRVA

It's about time.

8 months ago
anticipation_of
anticipation_of

Nice, I'll be using this.

8 months ago
just someone
just someone

Awesome.
This will change things for me. What a time to be alive.
YES.
Great, thanks Instagram/Mark Z.

8 months ago