What to do now that Facebook pages' RSS feeds are gone?

Facebook Platform ChangelogAs you may have noticed Facebook page’s RSS/XML feed stopped working (see official announcement)  on January 28. If you are like me you had lots of RSS feeds organized into folders in a feedreader. Going through my list every morning was an effective way of learning what’s new on the Facebook pages of the organizations I am interested in. Using this method I didn’t rely on the mercy Facebook’s ever-changing algorithm to decide what is worthy for my attention and what is not, I could decide for myself. As this method is no longer available* I devised a new one that works for me and may work for you too. Caveat: checking a long list of Facebook pages takes somewhat longer, so I am open to suggestions to find an even faster way. However it is faster than manual opening or waiting for posts to show up on your Facebook wall. It is a three step process, but the daily routine only requires the last one:

  1. Export your feeds
  2. Turn the XML code into a list of URLs
  3. Open them programmatically in new tabs

Let’s see this step by step.

Export your feeds:

Most RSSreaders allows you to export your feeds. Here are the methods for two popular ones

Inoreader ->Preferences -> Import/Export -> Click this link to export your data. ->Download OPML subscriptions file only

Feedly -> Organize -> Save as OPML -> Click here to download your feedly OPML

Turn the XML code into a list of URLs

You want to extract the URLs of the Facebook pages and optionally their names. The XML file may look like this

<outline text=”Vision Nest Media’s Facebook Wall” title=”Vision Nest Media’s Facebook Wall” type=”rss” xmlUrl=”http://www.facebook.com/feeds/page.php?format=rss20&amp;id=135597909175″ htmlUrl=”https://www.facebook.com/”/>
<outline text=”Jewish Film Festivals and Films’s Facebook Wall” title=”Jewish Film Festivals and Films’s Facebook Wall” type=”rss” xmlUrl=”http://www.facebook.com/feeds/page.php?format=rss20&amp;id=277145242310507″ htmlUrl=”https://www.facebook.com/”/>

Through a series of search and replaces you can convert that to this format

Vision Nest Media http://www.facebook.com/135597909175
Jewish Film Festivals and Films http://www.facebook.com/277145242310507

Then you can keep this list in a spreadsheet or just the URLs in any kind of text document

Open all links programmatically in new tabs

You can load the URLs into a utility that opens every one of them in a new tab. My favorite is rapidlinkr.com, but there are others, e.g. penmultipleurl.com, bulkurlopen.com

Once you have the open you can page through the tabs quickly and just see the latest date of the top post. If it is not today’s (or since your last visit), just close the tab.

* Facebook suggest to “call the feed edge on the Graph API’s Page object: /v2.2/{page_id}/feed.” However that method requires authentication, which in most cases I don’t have to other people’s Facebook pages.

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