Facebook has become one of the top places for posting comments, reviews, and information.
But that’s good only if you can get to it. Go ahead and try to find something that you wrote six months ago. There is no search tool in Facebook. None of the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) show search results for Facebook. You can’t find it. Your postings fell into a black hole.
FB says you can download your archive of postings. Go to “Account Settings” and click “Download a Copy of Your Facebook Data.” You’ll get a message that FB will send an email when it’s ready. About six hours later, you get the message. It says “Sorry, we were unable to create your archive. Try again.” I and other other social media experts tried two or three times each: same result: FB Archive has been disabled.
FB doesn’t want you to be able to download your postings because you might take them elsewhere. Welcome to the Black Hole at the center of Facebook.
Does Twitter have this problem? I scrolled back in my Twitter postings, selected a posting (“How do you say G+ in Chinese? Hexie? Let’s sing in three-part harmony… hmm… I only hear the sound of…”) and searched for it in Bing, Google, and Yahoo. It shows up in Google (bit.ly/NtTlr1) but not in Yahoo or Bing. They’re not indexing past tweets.
Why does this matter? If you’re using FB and Twitter for PR, marketing, or outreach to your audience, FB is pretty much useless. It can be seen only today. After a day or two, it simply disappears.
I am concerned about archives at FB. Billions of photos are hosted at FB. FB’s financial situation is not good. If they collapse, all of the postings and photos will disappear. There is no way to save that.