Facebook Adds Microformats To “Download Your Info” Feature


“Download your information” is a Facebook feature that bundles your personal data in a large zip file and makes it available for download from the account settings page.  Users get html files which include their entire profile, wall, Event history, messages, Notes, list of friends photos, and videos.  Users wishing to preserve memories created on facebook will enjoy this ability.

However, there is not much you can do.  It’s only data, it’s more of a back up.  It does not include a list of your Facebook friends and email addresses, or a collection of photos that you can import into another photo-sharing website.

In news that will probably go unnoticed by most Facebook users, the company added support for microformats to its “download your information feature”.  The addition provides developers with a way to parse the profile information, posts, photos and videos contained in a Facebook user’s account.  This change however does not give too much impact to what users can do with their data.

So how are microformats being utilized by Facebook?

Before, the hCards only provide your name, no URL, phone number or email address.   Now, Facebook’s own data exporting feature hCards provide your name, your profile URL and your email. With hAtom,  the wall posts now include permalinks and published dates.  The final Microformat, hMedia, marks up your photos and videos, providing titles, timestamps, comments and album name. It also marks up each album so you can extract the photos, the time posted and comments.

What does this mean? It’s simple. Easier access to a Facebook data in a format that’s consistent with the web.



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