Archiving Social Media Tools

The most commonly used social media tools are also the ones that take up the most space on your computer. Let’s explore the best ways to archive and delete your unused or rarely used social media accounts, and make some room… Follow proper security protocol, get step-by-step instructions, and a detailed list of the best tools to use here, in this article.

As social media communication becomes standard business practice, it’s important that organizations across all industries maintain detailed and easily producible records of all company interactions for legal and regulatory purposes. The most efficient and effective way to do so is by using a social media archiving solution.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, social media archiving simply refers to the process by which organizations move social media data — think direct messages, posts, videos and so on — off primary systems and into secure archival storage for an extended period of time.

Social media archiving serves a few essential functions and offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Frees up valuable primary storage space
  • Enhances backup and restore performance
  • Reduces secondary storage costs
  • Makes it easy to search and access old data that still has business value
  • Enables organizations to quickly produce data for eDiscovery requests
  • Promotes regulatory compliance

It’s worth noting that most social media platforms have some form of native archiving capability, however, these tend to be rudimentary and unequipped to accommodate the archiving needs of most major organizations.

A social media archiving tool is simply any platform or solution that an organization uses to store, search and reproduce social media data. Without further ado, let’s start our social media showdown, where we’ll compare and contrast some of the best social media archiving tools on the market today.

Capabilities to Look for in a Social Media Archiving Tool

When determining which social media archiving tool is right for your organization, it helps to know what to look for. Any social media archiver worth its salt should include the following features and capabilities:

  • Multimedia archiving
  • Real-time data capture
  • Advanced search capabilities
  • Customizable data retention policies
  • Role-based authentication
  • Document indexing
  • Full text extraction
  • Data encryption
  • Time stamping and digital signatures
  • Metrics and reporting
  • eDiscovery

Other things to consider when shopping social media archiving tools and providers include employee training, technical support, deployment options, ease of deployment, customer experience and pricing.


As we prepare for the social media showdown, let’s meet our contenders for best social media archiving platform.


ArchiveSocial is a cloud-based archiving and analytics technology that provides the instantaneous capture of social media content for archival purposes. ArchiveSocial is designed to preserve social media records in such a way that they meet all regulatory and legislative requirements. Founded in 2011, ArchiveSocial claims to “empower and protect open dialogue,” and has worked with the likes of the National Archives and Records Administration and the United States Department of Justice.


Like ArchiveSocial, Smarsh is a cloud-based archiving platform, however, Smarsh also offers other communications capture solutions and applications for the modern workplace. Smarsh was founded in 2001 in an effort to help businesses adapt to regulatory retention and oversight requirements. In the 20 years since then, Smarsh has fulfilled the archiving needs of over 6,500 customers across multiple industries and has earned recognition from the likes of Gartner and Deloitte.

Find out Why One Customer Decided to Make the Switch from Smarsh >>


Social media monitoring and archiving is just one of many services that PageFreezer offers. In fact, the Canadian-based company also has a mobile text archiver, a website archiver and a forensic preservation tool for litigation support. In the nearly 11 years since its founding, PageFreezer — which aims to “help organizations with the complex task of electronic records management” — has worked with over 1,800 customers and archived 20 million pages over 15,000 websites.


Similar to Smarsh and PageFreezer, Intradyn offers a full suite of archiving solutions, including social media, text and SMS message, and email. There is, however, one notable difference between Intradyn’s software and the others on this list: Customers have the option to purchase either Intradyn’s individual, single-purpose solutions based on their particular business need, or to get everything with the company’s comprehensive All-in-One Archiver. This full-service platform has made Intradyn the archiving company of choice for government agenciesschool districts and financial institutions alike for the past 20 years.

Social Media Showdown: ArchiveSocial vs. Smarsh vs. PageFreezer vs. Intradyn

Capabilities Multimedia archivingAdvanced searchCustomizable data retention policiesReal-time data captureTime stamping and digital signatureseDiscoveryMetrics and reportingRole-based authenticationAdvanced searchCustomizable data retention policiesDocument indexingFull text extractionData encryptioneDiscoveryMultimedia archivingAdvanced searchCustomizable data retention policiesReal-time data captureTime stamping and digital signatureseDiscoveryMetrics and reportingMultimedia archivingRole-based authenticationAdvanced searchCustomizable data retention policiesReal-time data captureDocument indexingFull text extractionData encryptionTime stamping and digital signatureseDiscoveryMetrics and reporting
Employee Training N/ADocumentationIn personLive onlineWebinarsDocumentationLive onlineWebinarsDocumentationLive online
Technical SupportN/ABusiness hoursOnlineBusiness hoursOnlinePhoneEmailCustomer portal
Deployment OptionsCloudCloudCloudCloudVirtual AppliancePhysical Hardware
Pricing Economy: $199/monthStandard: $399/monthPremium: $599/monthPricing available upon request.Pricing available upon request.Pricing available upon request.
Compatible Social Networks FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagramYouTubeFlickrPinterestGoogle+FacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagramFlickerPinterestVimeoHootsuiteFacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagramYouTubeFlickrPinterestTumblrVimeoNixleNextdoorYammerSlackMS TeamsWorkplaceFacebookTwitterLinkedInInstagramYouTubeFlickrPinterestSkypeTumblrVimeoNixleYammerMicrosoft Teams
Users Say “If we ever get a [Public Information Act] request, ArchiveSocial will pay for itself. It’s the best insurance policy a [Public Information Officer] can have against lost time and work.”“The vendor interface is intuitive and easy to use, and they have added many improvements over the 4+ years we’ve been with them … The system has been reliable and nearly always available.”“We have been clients for years with PageFreeze … If you need a website to be archived, this is a turnkey solution. I cannot recommend this company enough from an ease of use standpoint.”“The quality of the work [Intradyn] can do is unimaginable. Depending on the circumstances, we have the option to expand the storage capacity, which is a superb feature … This feature [allows us to create] multiple access to several end users, so that peace of mind exists when using Intradyn.”

To the Victor Go the Spoils

We hope you’ve found our battle royale featuring the best social media archiving platforms useful. If you’re still struggling to decide which solution might be right for you, why not try Intradyn?

We believe that archiving doesn’t happen in a vacuum, which is why we develop all of our solutions in collaboration with our customers and utilize feedback from end users to build a better product. This unique approach to archiving — be it social media, email or otherwise — and our commitment to continuous innovation separates us from our competitors and enables us to ensure that our customers are prepared for anything that comes their way.

If you’d like to learn more about what Intradyn can do for you, contact us today.


Who’s Using It: Kittitas County, Whatcom Transit Authority, Grant County, Burien, Vancouver, Spokane County, and Edmonds.

Estimated Annual Cost: $1,500 – $6,000; based on number of archived records.

Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram.

ArchiveSocial got its start in 2012 as a graduate of The Startup Factory, a technology accelerator based in North Carolina’s Research Triangle. Unlike some of the other products that offer a larger suite of records archiving tools, ArchiveSocial has solely focused on social media. While their products are made for both government and financial services, they have tailored their work to the public sector, recently securing a partnership with e.Republic, publishers of Government Technology and Governing magazines.

Like many of the other premium archiving tools, it is a cloud-based program, meaning that records are stored on a secure outside server instead of a customer’s internal network. Records are stored by tapping into the application programming interface (API) of the social platform, meaning it pulls content directly out of the program instead of taking an external snapshot.This allows the tool to capture data in nearly real time and with all of the quality and metadata of the original.

One of the stand-out features of ArchiveSocial is that it offers archived records in a format that looks and functions very nearly like the original. This means that your search results aren’t just a standardized list of posts, comments, pictures, and links, but you actually see how, say, a Facebook post looked and how the comments nested under the post. This makes it very easy to understand the context of the post to determine if it would be a relevant record for a search request. Another neat feature of Archive Social (shared by PageFreezer) is that you can turn various archives to be public-facing, allowing anyone to browse and search the archive. This can be useful in situations when an agency is inundated with public records requests, such as a natural disaster.


Who’s Using It: Arlington, Clark County, Bremerton, Bonney Lake, Othello, and Seattle.

Estimated Annual Cost: $1,000 – $6,000; based on number of social media accounts.

Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube, Flickr, Instagram, Yammer, Chatter, and Jive.

Traditionally geared toward financial companies, Smarsh got its start in 2001 as an email archiving program. In 2010, the Portland, Oregon-based company expanded its services to include social media archiving, web archiving, and text messaging, now boasting a tagline of, “we archive everything.” For social media, they can archive data for the most platforms of any of the software tools we looked at.

Smarsh’s cloud-based system works similar to ArchiveSocial, capturing data in real time and in the native raw format. Since the product was first developed for email, the search results are visually similar to what you would see in an email client like Outlook, reasonably easy to browse but not quite as flexible and easy as the ArchiveSocial option. Smarsh also gives you a number of export options, but they aren’t quite as comprehensive as ArchiveSocial. While a representative told me that they do have an option to provide a public-facing archive, it isn’t quite as customer-friendly as those offered by other products.

The big benefit to Smarsh is that if you have their full suite of services, and you can use the search for records across mediums. For example, if you are looking for records on a particular subject, you can do a single search to get them from social media, email, text messages, and more, and they are nicely displayed and easily browsable in the search results.

One neat feature about Smarsh is that they also send a monthly DVD of all records retained during that period. This provides a little extra security and also makes things easier if you ever choose to switch archiving systems.


Who’s Using It: Mountlake Terrace, King County, Whatcom County, and Sound Transit.

Estimated Annual Cost: $900 – $2,000, based on number of social accounts.

Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Founded in 2006 and based in Vancouver, BC, PageFreezer, as its name implies, was initially founded as a website archiving tool. In 2010, they expanded into the social media sphere. While government is a major client base for PageFreezer, they also tailor their products to private companies, similar to Smarsh

PageFreezer shares many of the same features as Smarsh and ArchiveSocial. It too is a cloud-based system that taps directly into the social API, providing native format records, or what the PageFreezer representative called “evidentiary quality” records. Records can be saved for any amount of time based on an agency’s retention schedule, and they are retrieved through PageFreezer’s user interface, called SaaS. The searching and browsing is robust and intuitive, with records results reasonably easy to browse, as with Smarsh.

PageFreezer is also good about archiving timelines, allowing you to set up whatever retention schedule is required for your records. Like ArchiveSocial, there is also an option to set up a public-facing portal that allows the public to search and retrieve records on their own for a set period of time.

Social Safe

Who’s Using It: Walla Walla County, Cowlitz County, Washington State Office of Financial Management, Governor’s Office, and Attorney General’s Office.

Estimated Annual Cost: $6.99 – 16.99; based on number of social accounts (up to 20).

Platforms: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Flickr, Instagram, Blogs, and Viadeo.

The first thing you’ll notice about Social Safe is the price; it is significantly less costly than the other three options on this list. This is because the product was originally aimed at individual consumers, robust social media users that just wanted an easier way to store and retrieve the information they had posted. With the continuing demand for business and government social media archiving, Social Safe has started to branch out into these markets, although the product still has a more “individualized” feel to it.

Probably the biggest difference between Social Safe and the other arching tools listed here is that it is not cloud-based. Instead of logging on to a server, you actually download a program, and files are stored directly onto your PC. Social Safe highlights that this means that even Social Safe doesn’t have access to your records – just you do. But, of course, the flip side to that is that if you have a larger records retrieval team it can be a bit cumbersome if all of the social media records can only be retrieved from a single machine. Other trade-offs are that your archiving capacity is limited by the space on your machine, and that there likely is a higher risk factor due to the insecurity of an individual computer compared to a corporate-managed data center.

In terms of usability, Social Safe has an interface comparable to the other products. The search function may have slightly fewer features, but it still allows searching on keywords, platform, and dates. Search results appear in a format that replicates the platforms themselves, much like ArchiveSocial. Exporting is limited to PDF, but this is the most accessible format for most requests. The program does connect directly to the APIs of each social platform, but currently the program does not do real-time data uploads, limiting automatic archiving to hourly at best. Since Social Safe wasn’t built specifically for archiving, one of its bonus features is that there is a built-in analytics dashboard, which provides some interesting insights for social media strategists.

Lastly, it is noteworthy that Social Safe has a far smaller support system than any of the other options listed here. Where the other tools have help portals and some phone support if needed, Social Safe has only a few videos, FAQs, and an email question form.

Photo courtesy of Peter Rasmussen.

MRSC is a private nonprofit organization serving local governments in Washington State. Eligible government agencies in Washington State may use our free, one-on-one Ask MRSC service to get answers to legal, policy, or financial questions.


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