Facebook data source

Facebook is a social media site focused sharing content among groups of friends, though it has become widely used by organisations seeking to connect with their customers.

Funnelback supports crawling Facebook pages and gathering data such as posts, events and page information. Funnelback is closely linked to Facebook’s graph search API. If you are not familiar with it you may want to look at getting started with Facebook’s graph API. You should be comfortable at finding page IDs. You should apply for written approval of automated data collection.

Please note that your usage of Funnelback to gather content from Facebook must comply with Facebook’s terms of service.

Getting your API key and secret

Before you can crawl Facebook you need to get an app ID and secret. To do this first get a Facebook developer account and then go to the developer app page and create a new app. Following this should give you your app ID and secret. Alternatively an access token can be provided using the facebook.access-token data source configuration option.

Configuration options

Facebook data sources support the following configuration options:

User mentions and hash-tags

User mentions and hash-tags within Facebook content can be made searchable by enabling the social tags plugin.

Metadata mappings

The Facebook gathering template includes predefined Facebook specific metadata mappings:

Class ID Type Behaviour Explanation Metadata fields included

author

text

content

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventOwner/name, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/nameWithLocationDescriptor, /FacebookXmlRecord/postFrom/name

authorId

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventOwner/id, /FacebookXmlRecord/postFrom/id

c

text

content

Description

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventDescription, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/about, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/description, /FacebookXmlRecord/postMessage

category

text

content

/FacebookXmlRecord/page/category

city

text

content

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventVenue/city, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/location/city, /FacebookXmlRecord/postLocation/city

country

text

content

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventVenue/country, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/location/country, /FacebookXmlRecord/postLocation/country

d

date

date

Date

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventStartTime, /FacebookXmlRecord/postCreatedTime

eventEndTime

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventEndTime

eventPrivacy

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventPrivacy

identifier

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventId, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/id, /FacebookXmlRecord/postId

image

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/page/cover/source, /FacebookXmlRecord/postPictureURL

latLong

geospatial x/y co-ordinate

N/A

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventVenue/latitudeLong, /FacebookXmlRecord/postLocation/latLong

location

text

display

Event location

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventLocation

pageFounded

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/page/founded

pageMission

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/page/mission

pageProduct

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/page/products

phone

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/page/phone

postcode

text

display

Zip/post code

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventVenue/zip, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/location/zip, /FacebookXmlRecord/postLocation/zip

postIconUrl

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/postIconURL

postLink

text

content

Post link

/FacebookXmlRecord/postLink

postLinkDescription

text

content

/FacebookXmlRecord/postLinkDescription

postLinkTitle

text

content

/FacebookXmlRecord/postLinkCaption

state

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventVenue/State, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/location/state, /FacebookXmlRecord/postLocation/state

street

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventVenue/street, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/location/street, /FacebookXmlRecord/postLocation/street

t

text

content

Event/page title

/FacebookXmlRecord/eventName, /FacebookXmlRecord/page/name

type

text

display

/FacebookXmlRecord/type

Use the -SF query processor option to access these metadata fields on the search response and in the templates (i.e. -SF=[author,country]).

Limits

Please note that Facebook applies limits to the volume of content which can be retrieved from their APIs, and so in the case of large pages Funnelback may be unable to gather all historical content.

Caveats

Crawling Facebook events is only possible if the facebook.access-token property is specified with a never expiring page access token.

Working with the fetched data

Funnelback will crawl Facebook and convert responses into XML. You can use the metadata customisation tool to map elements to a metadata class.

To preview the crawled records please enable debug mode by setting the facebook.debug=true data source configuration option.

FacebookQueryPost XML Example

<FacebookXmlRecord>
  <postId>post_id</postId>
  <url>www.facebook.com/the_post_id</url>
  <postMessage>this is the post message</postMessage>
  <postCreatedTime>Tue Aug 27 13:42:17 EST 2013</postCreatedTime>
  <type>POST</type>
  <postFrom class="com.restfb.types.CategorizedFacebookType">
    <id>id of poster</id>
    <name>Name of poster</name>
    <category>Community</category>
  </postFrom>
  <postComments>
    <FacebookXmlRecord>
      <commentId>comment id</commentId>
      <url>www.facebook.com/comment id</url>
      <commentMessage>comment one of three</commentMessage>
      <commentFrom class="com.restfb.types.CategorizedFacebookType">
        <id>Comment poster ID</id>
        <name>Name of poster</name>
        <category>Community</category>
      </commentFrom>
      <commentCreatedTime>2013-08-27 03:42:37.0 UTC</commentCreatedTime>
      <type>COMMENT</type>
    </FacebookXmlRecord>
  </postComments>
</FacebookXmlRecord>

FacebookQueryEvent XML Example

<FacebookXmlRecord>
  <eventId>id</eventId>
  <url>www.facebook.com/id</url>
  <eventName/>
  <eventDescription/>
  <eventStartTime>2024-02-13 20:00:00.0 UTC</eventStartTime>
  <eventEndTime>2024-02-13 23:00:00.0 UTC</eventEndTime>
  <eventLocation>Lima, Peru</eventLocation>
  <eventVenue>
    <city/>
    <country/>
    <latitude>-12.043333</latitude>
    <longitude>-77.028333</longitude>
    <state/>
    <street/>
    <zip/>
  </eventVenue>
  <eventPrivacy>OPEN</eventPrivacy>
  <eventOwner>
    <id>owner id</id>
    <name/>
  </eventOwner>
  <EventRsvpStatus/>
  <type>EVENT</type>
</FacebookXmlRecord>

FacebookQueryPage XML Example

<FacebookXmlRecord>
  <pageId>id</pageId>
  <url>http://www.facebook.com/pages/page</url>
  <page>
    <id>id</id>
    <name>page namme</name>
    <category/>
    <link>http://www.facebook.com/pages/page</link>
    <founded/>
    <mission/>
    <products/>
    <description>the long description</description>
    <phone/>
    <about>Another description</about>
    <talkingAboutCount>0</talkingAboutCount>
    <isPublished>true</isPublished>
    <location>
      <street/>
      <city/>
      <state/>
      <country/>
      <zip/>
    </location>
  </page>
  <type>PAGE</type>
</FacebookXmlRecord>

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