Facebook has launched a new service to let people more easily transfer their images and videos from the social network to other storage services. 

It's starting by allowing users in Ireland to transfer their files to Google Photos if desired, as a trial for the service. The tool is planned to launch worldwide throughout the first half of 2020. 

In a blog post about the feature, Steve Satterfield, Facebook's director of privacy and public policy, says that the tool is rooted in the principle that "if you share data with one service, you should be able to move it to another". While users have long been able to download their data from Facebook, and could then upload it elsewhere, the new tool should make it far easier and less laborious to do so.

Google Photos is simply the first network that Facebook's linking in, too - there are plans to expand it to account for others, as well. 

Of course, the current climate means that the security of transfers like this is paramount. Satterfield details that the transfer will be encrypted, and cannot be initiated without the user in question re-entering their password, to ensure that people don't make off with imagery without permission.

This is all part of a wider initiative in the tech industry, the "Data Transfer Project", which aims to encourage this freedom of data movement and management. Facebook's among other big names like Apple and Google to be contributing to the project.   

Facebook users in Ireland should be able to access the new tool starting from today, before the rest of the world gets a pop in 2020.