How To Send or Forward Facebook Messages to E-mail
Can you forward messages to your business email account and follow them up outside of Facebook? Can you back up Facebook messages?
If you’re a small business owner, Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool. It can also get in the way just as much as it helps and demands dedication and time to use well. The ability to either back up conversations to email for posterity or evidence is a little known feature of Facebook but you can use it to your advantage should you need to.
Facebook messages are maintained on your account until you delete them or they simply expire. For most conversations, this is perfectly fine. For anything to do with contracts, orders or requests, you may like to have a backup of the conversation to refer to quickly or for evidence. Some businesses may require such records for compliance too.
So can you send Facebook messages to your business email account?
Send Facebook messages to email?
As far as I can tell, you can no longer send Facebook messages to your email account. Under the old email system, you could select a message and then choose to forward messages to an email address of your choosing. This made it easy to back up specific conversations so you have a copy under your control.
Unfortunately, since the system upgraded, this is no longer the case. There is no option to Forward messages in that way any more. You can still back up messages but it takes a little more work.
The backup and notification process is quite straightforward and takes less than a minute. Afterwards you should then see more Facebook notifications in your email inbox. As long as you add clients or contacts as Facebook Friends, you should see their notifications and any notes they send you in your email.
To send comments and notes from Friends to your inbox, do this:
- Log into Facebook and select the down arrow menu icon in the top right.
- Select Settings and then Notifications.
- Select Email and then turn on the option for Recent notes and Recent comments.
As an alternative to being able to forward Facebook messages to your business email account, you can download them instead. You can always compose them within an email and safe as a draft if you want to use email or save them somewhere safe in case you need to use it.
Backup Facebook messages
While you can no longer forward chats and messages to your business email from Facebook, you can download a copy of all your chats. It is very straightforward and takes just a couple of minutes to do. I find it easier to do from a desktop rather than phone but the process is much the same.
- Log into Facebook and select the down arrow menu icon at the top.
- Select Settings and then Your Facebook information from the left.
- Select Download your information from the center pane.
- Check or uncheck options depending on your needs.
- Select Request a download at the bottom.
The download may take a little while and will be downloaded in either HTML or JSON format. For your messages, you can uncheck everything but Messages on this page. It will then download all your messages for you to store safely. If it is something specific you’re after, you can select a date range at the top of the download screen rather than downloading everything.
Once downloaded, open ‘index.html’ or ‘index.json’ from the file and scroll to Messages. Select the text link and you should then see a copy of all messages within the date range you selected. You can retain it in its original format or copy and paste it into another program as necessary.
Manually backup Facebook messages
You can of course manually backup your Facebook messages. Just open the conversation, scroll up to load it all to the point where you need to begin to keep it safe and Control A and Control C (Windows) or Cmd A and Cmd C (Mac). You can then paste it somewhere safe and save it.
If you’re saving anything contractual, this is not enough for most uses. You should also save a screenshot of the content in place within the chat window. To get a good copy of all of the conversation, use a desktop browser and use https://www.facebook.com/messages. This brings up conversations in full screen for better screenshots.
It’s a shame you can no longer send Facebook messages to your business email account. It was a quick and easy way to save conversation while maintaining context. You can still back them up but it takes a little more work.
Know of any ways you can send Facebook messages to your business email account? Tell us about them below if you do!