So you uploaded photos or videos to Facebook, or one of your Facebook Friends did, and you’d like to share them outside of Facebook.
That’s not a problem if your or your “Friend” have a copy available on a smartphone, tablet or computer.
But what if that prized shoot or goofy video has been deleted from everywhere but Facebook?
Just download them to your computer.
Downloading photos from Facebook is simple.
If you are accessing Facebook from a computer, just click on a photo’s thumbnail to enlarge it, then click on “Options” at the bottom of the screen, choose “Download” and save it to your computer’s hard drive.
If you are accessing Facebook from an iPhone or iPad (and probably any other mobile device), just tap on a photo’s thumbnail, then on the three little dots at the bottom of the screen, and finally on “Save Photo” to save it to your device’s Camera Roll where you can share it via e-mail, text message, or post it on social media sites.
(Since I’m not smiling in this long-ago photo, either I didn’t get enough birthday presents, the cake was stale, or I was pouting because it wasn’t my birthday).
Downloading Videos From a Computer
Downloading videos from Facebook is much more problematic.
If you are using a computer to access Facebook, click on the video and then “Options” at the bottom of the screen, and it seems that it would be easy to download either an “HD” (High Definition) or “SD” (Standard Definition) copy of the video.
Doing so will let you play the video on your computer, but it won’t save the video file to your computer’s hard drive.
Instead, right-click on the video’s thumbnail and “Get Link” to get the link to the photo’s URL and plug that in to a download service Website, like GetFBStuff.com, and then download the video to your computer.
If the video is “Public” on Facebook, follow the instructions on this page of the GetFB.com site: http://getfbstuff.com/
If the FB video is “Private,” use these steps instead: http://getfbstuff.com/facebook-private-video-downloader
Downloading Videos to Your iPhone or iPad
Unfortunately, I couldn’t figure out a way to download a FB movie and save it to an iPhone or iPad using GetFB.com because the “right click” function isn’t available on those devices.
My solution was to try the “Video Downloader for Facebook” app for Apple mobile devices. While the app is “free,” I’d suggest paying for the upgrade after you’ve installed the app so you can automatically download Facebook videos to your mobile device’s Camera Roll and get rid of the in-app advertisements.
The app lets you download “Public” videos that you or your Facebook Friends have uploaded to Facebook, as well as those on Facebook Pages or Groups, and videos in which you’ve been tagged, videos from your News Feed, and “Funny viral videos.”
And if you don’t want to download a video, you can simply play it with the app.
The app seems to work pretty well, but I occasionally it crashed during a download (over Wi-Fi).
Although I set the app to always download and play high-quality video, it wasn’t clear to me whether lack of sharpness during playback was due to a problem with the app or because the video originally uploaded to YouTube wasn’t high definition.
There are some improvements or “fixes” that might be made to the app.
Videos under “Friends Feeds”aren’t arranged in any particular order as far as I can see.
The “Friends List” was arranged alphabetically by first name rather than last name (although a “Search” function lets you easily find a specific “Friend” by first or last name.)
Both “Friends Feeds” and “Friends List” loaded excruciatingly slow, and sometimes I had to shut down and relaunch the app in order to get them to load at all. And the “Friends List” isn’t restricted to Facebook Friends who have videos on their page or timeline, meaning you can waste time checking for videos from a Friend who has never posted any to Facebook.
While you can find videos posted on the Facebook “Fan Pages” that you have “liked,” they seem to be listed in random order and there is no ability to search by Page name.
All in all, the Video Downloader for Facebook is well worth its $0.99 price if, viewing, downloading, and sharing videos from Facebook is something you’d do with regularity and you don’t mind dealing with some of the annoying quirks in the app.