Facebook is taking down their V1 API on April 30, 2015. The V2 replacement API does not have a search endpoint. With no replacement method in sight, this means all monitoring tools such as Mention will no longer be able to search for Facebook public posts (public post on FB represent less than 5% of all posts).

TL;DR

We have worked on two methods to circumvent this limitation :

  • Users can add their own page. They will get all the posts published on their page as well as any post about their page anywhere on FB.
  • Users can add a public Facebook page (url). They will get all posts published on that page only.

We also completely rehauled the way Facebook is integrated into Mention, with a much improved design, more in depth monitoring (display of comments below posts) and most important, the ability to Like, Comment & Share a Facebook post directly from the Mention platform.


OK, if you are a monitoring expert or Facebook developer, you know what’s going on.

For everyone else, a bit of background first.

How did Mention monitor Facebook ?

Mention used the Facebook API V1, more precisely the “Public Post endpoint” of the API. We mirror the Alert query users set up in Mention, grab the results and display them in our app.

Why does this have to change ?

There are two good reasons for that: First, Facebook’s V1 API is being retired on April 30 2015  with no replacement method (that alone is a good reason), second, that API was behaving less and less reliably. Public posts which should have matched a query were not returned by the API, leading to understandable insatisfaction from our customers.

Is there good news?

Good news everyone! Facebook monitoring still works!

How can we offer monitoring on Facebook if the API is retired? We use an endpoint available in API V2, and there are two of those which we find useful :

  • Public page
  • Your own page

What are the key differences between the Facebook API V1 and the V2?

 

 Old Facebook  New Facebook
Reliable   NO   YES
Search public posts   Unreliable   NO
Search news feed   NO   NO
Get all posts from a specific page   NO   YES
Get all posts from your page   YES   YES
Get all mentions of your page elsewhere on FB   NO   YES

So is this good or bad news overall? As you can see, the important word here is reliability.

As a monitoring tool, we prefer having a reliable coverage of a subset of Facebook (public pages + your page) rather than an unreliable coverage of a wider area.

The old Facebook API did not return search queries in a reliable fashion, which was a very uncomfortable position for both our company and our customers.

Now you know precisely what can be monitored, and there are no gaps within that area. Overall we believe this is very good news and will help you monitor what is being said on Facebook in a much stronger and reliable capacity.

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Matthieu is CEO of Mention, where he moves all Trello cards to the right and closes deals. He splits his time between Paris and Brussels. Say hi @mvaxelaire.

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