Facebook profiles vs. pages and graph api data retrieval

Facebook profiles vs. pages and graph api data retrieval

Help! My Facebook plugin doesn’t retrieve any data!

The problem may be you are trying to retrieve data from a Facebook profile rather than a Facebook page. Facebook puts much tighter restrictions on data its Graph API makes available to public profiles than it does for pages.

The reason you are not retrieving any data is because profiles limit data sharing to other profiles who are ‘friends’. Profile posts and photos have permissions that govern who can access them. This means the data on profiles is not necessarily available for public consumption. Meaning, when you post on your profile wall your friends can all see your post if they are logged into Facebook, but the rest of the Internet can not. Consider a website that the whole world can see, it doesn’t have permission to retrieve and display private posts that have been made between you and your friends on each others walls. There are exceptions to this rule. If you and your friends change a posts permissions to remove these restrictions, plugins and apps can use Facebooks Graph API to retrieve them.

But wait that’s not all!  Even with permissions set, outside sources still may not be able to retrieve posts. Consider an example post where multiple friends are mentioned or a photo where multiple friends are tagged. Just because the profile owner says it’s ok for the world to see does not necessarily mean all the other friends agree. If they have not also lifted the restriction by changing the post permissions Facebook will not all the data to be returned via the API.

To increase the data you can retrieve from your Facebook profile, you have a couple of options.

1) Change the permissions on each posts and photos you want to retrieve with your plugin. Follow these instructions for posts: https://www.facebook.com/help/www/120939471321735?rdrhc and follow these instruction for photos https://www.facebook.com/help/www/120939471321735?rdrhc

2) This is what I recommend. Change your Facebook profile to a Facebook page. Facebook pages are meant to be public facing so the whole world can see them. This means all the data is retrievable by the plugins and apps by default. To make this switch follow these instructions https://www.facebook.com/help/175644189234902/

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