PC backup has ploughed the same dull field for two decades but now Seagate thinks it has come up something genuinely new – a way of directly backing up content from online services such as Facebook and Flickr.

The new Backup Plus drives ship with an application that plugs into the two online services, automatically backing up in compressed form any photographs posted there to the Seagate drive. It could be described as a sort of ‘uncloud’.

The drive also handles the upload of content to these services (also for YouTube) as well as allowing conventional scheduled or continuous local file backup to the drive itself.

Eschewing the option to integrate with better-known cloud services such as Dropbox, Seagate rounds off the backup options with 4GB of online storage through its own service.

This is understandable but perhaps a shame; computers users are being offered numerous backup and synchronisation services right now and being able to choose a preferred one sounds like the future.

Physically, the Backup Plus models all use the same separation of drive and interface Seagate has pioneered for some time although the new drives ship with USB 3.0 as standard (interfaces for FireWire, eSATA and Thunderbolt are also available at additional cost).

Capacities for the portable drives range from 500GB, 750GB with 1TB to 2TB, 3TB for the desktop units that will ship from next month. Mac users get Paragon NTFS for Mac which allows the drives to connect to an Apple machine without having to resort to FAT32.

“The idea of providing a backup of photos and videos from Facebook is an interesting one, which I believe may help people come to realize the importance of maintaining multiple copies of any digital asset regardless of where it is stored,” argued Seagate’s Brett Sappington.

UK prices start at £69.90 for the 500GB unit, £94.90 for 1TB; the Backup Plus Desk drives will cost £84.90 (1TB), £104.90 (2TB), and £134.90 (3TB) respectively.