ArchiveFacebook is a Firefox extension, which helps you to save web pages from Facebook and easily manage them. Save content from Facebook directly to your hard drive and view them exactly the same way you currently view them on Facebook.
Why would you want to do this? Facebook has become a very important part of our lives. Information about our friends, family, business contacts and acquaintances is stored in Facebook with no easy way to get it out. ArchiveFacebook allows you to do just that. What guarantee do you have that Facebook won't accidentally, or in some cases intentionally delete your account? Don't trust your data to one web site alone. Take matters into your own hands and preserve this information. Show it to your kids one day!
Currently ArchiveFacebook can save:
- Activity Stream
- Friends List
You can download the extension from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/13993/. Once at this page, press “Add to Firefox” and follow the prompts for installation. Firefox will prompt you to restart Firefox. Once you do so, you should see a new menu called “ArchiveFB”. At this point, ArchiveFacebook has successfully installed.
It should be noted that, at the time of this writing, ScrapBook should not be enabled while ArchiveFacebook is enabled. This will cause instability issues within both programs. You can easily disable an extension from within the Firefox “Add-ons” dialog. This dialog can be found in the “Tools” menu of Firefox.
First of all, make sure you are logged into your Facebook account. ArchiveFacebook uses Firefox to view the pages of your account and then save them. So, you need to be logged into your account in order to have the proper authentication and authorization to archive your account.
Once logged in, it is a good idea to open the sidebar. To do this, click the ArchiveFB --> Show in Sidebar. The sidebar should appear on the left hand side of the screen. The sidebar does not need to be open in order to archive, but it provides a richer interface for doing so.
To archive your account, press ArchiveFB --> Archive. This will redirect you to your Facebook profile page. You will then see a dialog box telling you that you activity stream will be expanded. If you press “Cancel” the archiving process will be completely cancelled. If you press “Ok”, your activity stream will be expanded, displaying all activity done on Facebook since your accounts creation. As your activity is being retrieved, you are presented with another dialog box that lets you know the date of the current activities that are being retrieved. You may cancel this process at any time and your account will still be archived. Your activity stream will be archived up until the date where you cancelled the retrieval.
Once the retrieval of your activity stream has completed, the archiving process will begin. You will see a window that says “Capture” on it. This window drives the archive process. Each page to be archived will be listed in the scrollbar pane.
Browsing the Archive:
Once the archiving process has completed, you will see an entry in the sidebar that says “Facebook | username date” where username is your Facebook username and date is the current date. Click on the entry. You will see your Facebook profile page appear and at the bottom will be an annotation bar where you can highlight text or make comments on a page for your personal records. Click through your archived Facebook pages to ensure that all pages have been archived. All pages listed in the introduction should be archived. You can tell if a page has been archived by placing your cursor over a link. Look in the bottom left hand corner and Firefox will show the location of the link i.e. if the location starts with “file://”, it is on your hard drive, if it starts with “http://”, it is on the web. If it is not on your local hard drive, try to archive your account again. If the second attempt doesn’t work, please notify us and we will attempt to fix the problem.
ArchiveFacebook was developed at Old Dominion University (ODU) by Carlton Northern. Michael L. Nelson (ODU) and Frank McCown (Harding University) served as advisers. You can read more about the add-on in the research paper entitled What Happens When Facebook is Gone? presented at JCDL 2009.
ArchiveFacebook was developed by modifying code from ScrapBook. Note that ArchiveFacebook will not work correctly when ScrapBook is installed. You will need to temporarily disable or uninstall ScrapBook before using ArchiveFacebook.
When running ArchiveFacebook, it may take several minutes to several hours to complete, depending on the amount of content to be archived. At the beginning of the process, Firefox will be temporarily frozen while it retrieves your activity stream. You may cancel this retrieval at any time and the archiving of the rest of your account will still occur.