When Jennifer Davis from thebluedoor invited me to review SocialSafe on this blog, I was faced with a small problem. SocialSafe is a program designed to back up your Facebook data, and I don’t use Facebook. (I object to their terms of service.) But I have readers who do use the social network, and I wanted to cover this product precisely because getting anything out of a walled garden like Facebook can be so difficult.
So I went looking for a reviewer by posting a request in my LinkedIn status, and my fellow BACN board member Michael North volunteered. Michael uses Facebook for his business, making a product like this particularly valuable to him. I hooked him up with Jennifer and he dove right into test-driving SocialSafe.
Because Michael had trouble making screenshots, I’m including the video from the SocialSafe website for those who want to see the product in action. You’ll want to click the button with the arrows at the corners to view it in full-screen mode.
This is a very easy-to-use basic backup system for social media. I used it for backing up my Facebook account. It has several nice features that are worthy of note.
First, the system itself was easy to download and use. It automatically connects to your Facebook account sign-in screen when backing up the first time. You just enter your password and it does the rest. On Facebook, it backed up my profile, pictures and friends information. I had about 100 pictures, 180 friends and a decent-sized profile on Facebook and it backed up everything in less than one minute. It put an icon on my desktop as well.
There are some additions I would love to see. One is backing up my wall information. The developers have that listed as a future addition and seem very intent on providing it. Second is that I run a group on Facebook for about 200 people. I would love to have that backed up as well. That is going to take SocialSafe longer but they state it is in their development funnel down the road. Since, in my opinion, groups will be the key function of Facebook in the near term, I do wish they would address that.
There is no limit on how many times you can back up your Facebook account; just click on the icon and type in your Facebook password and away you go. The software can put in a notification on Facebook when it does a backup. Some may find that annoying, but Facebook has become consumed with notifications. Putting up with a small plug for their product is a very small price to pay. It can be turned off by accessing the settings portion of the software.
You also can open the desktop icon at any time and look at what has been saved. That is very nice and again, quite easy to open and use.
The price is under $3 US and is a one-time charge. That is very cheap and well worth the money. While Facebook probably has tons and tons of backups, no computer network is completely safe or secure. For the price, this is a very worthwhile investment and likely will gain rapid acceptance given its ease of use, simple interface and rapid utility.
As people spend more and more time on social networks, backing up the data—and metadata—they keep there becomes increasingly important. (In this case, by “metadata” I mean things like the relationships between the contacts.) If you’re a heavy Facebook user, SocialSafe seems like a very good idea. It’s the first tool of its kind that I’ve heard of, but now that there’s one, competitors are sure to appear. Congratulations to iBundle and 1minus1 for getting in on the ground floor.