Feed Facebook, Leave Facebook

Facebook is shutting down its RSS import feature on 22 November 2011. This plugin will still work, but you will no longer be able to use Facebook as your import service. For alternative import services, try: Twitter Feed, RSS Graffiti (I have no experience with either of these.)

Feed Facebook, Leave Facebook is a plugin for WordPress to generate a separate partial feed for use on Facebook. Use it to direct Facebook visitors to your blog while leaving your main full-text feed intact.

If you’re a (reluctant) Facebook user and you’re unhappy with the way it handles your feed, use this plugin to generate a special excerpts only version for Facebook. It will also add a link to your blog post beneath the excerpt in case visitors miss the ‘View original post’ link Facebook provides.

Download — Latest Version

Installation (for WordPress 2.8+)

The easiest way to install the plugin is to install with plugin installer (enter your WordPress address).

If you want to do it manually:

  1. Upload the feed-facebook-leave-facebook directory to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory
  2. Activate the plugin through the ‘Plugins’ menu in WordPress

Once activated, access your feed with the querystring feedfacebook appended to the end. This is usually
http://[your blog address]?feed=rss2&feedfacebook — if you use pretty permalinks, it could also look like this: http://[your blog address]/feed/?feedfacebook

You can register the new feed URL with Facebook on its Import a Blog page.

Customise

To customise the message, add it to the querystring:

?feedfacebook=Read the rest at my site

If you want to explain to your readers why you’re asking them to leave Facebook to read your post, you can add that with the following:

?feedfacebook&why=URL of explanation

This will appear as a link with the text ‘(why?)’. To change the wording:

?feedfacebook&why=URL of explanation&whytext=Facebook is evil!

Screenshot

Examples of Feed Output

Questions?

If you find this piece of code useful, please consider donating. I’m a student working on these projects in my spare time. This site carries no advertising and I release most of the code I work on under a free software license. I don’t receive any payment for this work so I have to rely on donations if I want to put off becoming a wage slave. Your contribution (whatever the amount) would be greatly appreciated.











Paid Support

If you run a commercial site and you need help with feeds. Feel free to get in touch: keyvan (at) keyvan.net

100 Comments

  1. Posted 29 October 2009 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    My problem with this and every plugin or service I’ve tried is that the links on Facebook don’t have the option for users to share or add to their profile. Can this be added to your plugin, or is Facebook blocking that feature for things automatically posted?

  2. Posted 31 October 2009 at 2:20 am | Permalink

    Justin, I’m not quite sure what you mean – I think there is a ‘share’ option when Facebook displays feed items. But whether it appears or not, it’s determined by Facebook and not the plugin.

  3. Posted 14 November 2009 at 2:23 am | Permalink

    Hi, I installed this on a friend’s website (www.chivalrytoday.com) and it seemed to be working fine, but now suddenly isn’t. It hasn’t updated the last several articles he has posted to Facebook. The Facebook Import a Blog setting still shows that it’s supposed to be importing.

    The facebook page is http://facebook.com/ChivalryToday. You can see several posts were made, but he’s done several since that last one that’s shown there (Podcast 35) that aren’t showing up.

    Any idea what might be causing this?

  4. Posted 15 November 2009 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Digigirl: I would check the feed URL – if it shows the posts correctly in your browser then it’s a Facebook problem. If it’s not showing the recent posts in the feed when you load it directly, then maybe it’s a problem with the plugin that I can look into.

  5. Posted 15 November 2009 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    Hey, thanks! It was neither Facebook NOR the plugin but you telling me to check the URL helped me figure it out. All fixed now. Thanks again!

  6. Posted 15 November 2009 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    No problem.

  7. Posted 16 November 2009 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    have been testing your plugin but seem to be having issue on the return link, after it post to facebook in a shorten url it links back to the site but in the url it adds a ) after the url and thest inturn cause a 404 error message. what id the solution on this

  8. Posted 16 November 2009 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Bobby: can you provide a URL to your feed?

  9. Posted 26 November 2009 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I am a little confused about all this:
    so far I created a facebook page for an organization.

    I have a plug in that sends post updates to twitter.
    before I installed your (great) plug in I tried to get twitter updates
    to go to the facebook page. however in order for facebook to install this application it had to be claimed by a person, which it was.
    But nothing ever got updated on the facebook page.

    when I installed this plug I followed the link to add the feed to facebook and it took me to the organization facebook page but updated the persons profile who owns it instead.
    so the facebook page for the organization stays blank:
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Northampton-MA/SPIFFY/145967943424

    Do you understand what is going on here and what I should do next?

  10. Posted 27 November 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    MWDESIGN: I have no experience of Facebook’s different account types. The plugin here simply produces an RSS feed – it doesn’t contact Facebook in any way. So if there’s a way for Facebook to pull in feeds for different account types, you should be able to use it. Perhaps the link I’ve provided for registering the feed is only for individual accounts.

  11. John
    Posted 1 January 2010 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Hello, Your plugin is exactly what I’ve been looking for. I do have a problem, but it may be a result of my misunderstanding.

    The plugin installed fine, and I can see my blog posts on my FB notes page. But nobody else can see them. Anyone looking at my FB notes page gets the error: John hasn’t written any notes… yet. I’ve tried this logging on from several accounts and they all produce the same result.

    I thought that maybe this might have to do with FB’s servers updating, but it has been over 8 hours since I installed the plugin. I also checked my security settings, and even when Notes is set so that “everybody” can read it the problem persists. Also, I tried “sharing” the blog entries by publishing them to my wall, with no success.

    Am I missing something?

    Many thanks!

    John

  12. Posted 2 January 2010 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    John: I have no idea why they appear for you and not for others. It does sound like an issue with Facebook. I suggest you try registering a regular feed (not one produced by this plugin) or creating notes yourself through Facebook and see if friends can see those.

  13. Posted 6 January 2010 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Feed is great but I’m confused about two things. First, the feed importer on Facebook will post the feeds without this plugin. There is a link (albeit hidden with a couple others at the bottom) to the feed’s origin site. Also, you don’t have as much customization with it. I tested their feed importer without the plugin and it worked fine. So what exactly does the plugin add (this may be related to my second question).

    Second, when I tried the URL
    http://www.jrothraministries.com/feed/?feedfacebook=Read the full post at my site
    for the feed (to have the easily found link taking people to my site), FB would only post the word “Read.” It ignored everything after the space.

  14. Posted 6 January 2010 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    1. Meant the plugin is great (gives customization abilities)

    2. Just noticed that the URL link that I said I use also stops at the space just like FB does.

  15. Posted 6 January 2010 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    John: Facebook does already give you the option of importing feeds. The problem is if your feed contains the full contents of each post, Facebook will import it all – so users have little reason to leave Facebook to read your content. This plugin simply gives you another option: give Facebook a feed containing only excerpts of your posts with a link to the full content on your own site. But if you’re happy giving Facebook everything, then there’s no need for the plugin – as you point out you can register your main feed URL.

    Regarding the second question, if you’re using spaces you should encode them. The simplest way is to replace the spaces with the plus symbol: Read+the+full+post+at+my+site.

    Hope that’s some help.

  16. Posted 6 January 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I tried this URL and it gave me an error:
    http://www.jrothraministries.com/feed/?feedfacebook=Read+the+full+post+at+my+site

    The FB error:

    Import Failed
    The feed URL you provided doesn’t contain any data.

    But this URL works fine:
    http://www.jrothraministries.com/feed/?feedfacebook=More

    It doesn’t seem to like anything past the first word.

  17. Posted 6 January 2010 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    BTW… thank you for giving the explanation on the benefit of the plugin :) Answered a question I had. Since it uses the except, that’s awesome!

  18. Posted 6 January 2010 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    John, I don’t know why it’s giving you the error. It’s encoded properly now and if you access the URL directly yourself you’ll see it works fine and shows the correct message as the link. If Facebook can’t access it that’s a problem at their end.

  19. Posted 13 January 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    This sounds like the perfect plugin to remedy my beef with Facebook. Trouble is, it’s not compatible with the FD FeedBurner Plugin. Maybe you can apply a similar trick to what you did to make it compatible with the other FeedBurner plugin I saw mentioned in the changelog?

  20. Posted 14 January 2010 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Voyagerfan5761: Thanks. If I get more requests I might consider it. Can I ask why you don’t use the Feedsmith plugin?

  21. Posted 14 January 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I attempted to install the FeedSmith plugin before commenting here. WordPress said the plugin had an invalid header. But I just tried again and it’s installed, so I don’t know what went wrong before.

    I do notice that there are no configuration options for FeedSmith other than the post and comment feed URLs. FD FeedBurner has options for not redirecting category/tag and search result feeds. But I can probably live with the lack of support for that. Maybe I’ll send a feature request to FeedBurner. Or if I have the time, hack it in myself.

  22. Posted 18 January 2010 at 4:01 am | Permalink

    Voyagerfan5761: Thanks for the update. Glad it’s working now and it’s good to know the difference between the plugins too.

  23. Posted 22 January 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Finally stumbled upon something I’ve wanted for donkey’s years, thanks to a kind tip off from one of your commenters. This does the job nicely, will definitely be back to see what other gems you create. Many thanks.

  24. Posted 23 January 2010 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Andrew. :)

  25. Viscouse
    Posted 26 January 2010 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    This plugin rocks so hard, it hurts. Thank you.

    I have a quick question. The feed is being produced correctly, and FB reads it fine. My question is more of semantics regarding how FB processes (or I’m just not doing something right). The feed comes in as a Note, which gets posted to the Wall. So on the Wall, which is structured: Note link, blog excerpt, comment/like/share. So a reader has to click on the Note link, and THEN the “Leave Facebook to read the rest on my blog” link.

    Is this right? Is there a way to make a link directly to the post without having to go to the Note first?

  26. Viscouse
    Posted 26 January 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Sorry…addendum. When the Note gets published to the Wall, it seems to strip any hyperlinks.

    Why would FB do that?

  27. Posted 26 January 2010 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    Viscouse: You’re right – it would be much more useful if Facebook included links in the notes when displaying them on the wall, or allowed the title link to lead to the actual article rather than another Facebook page. They do it for posted links, but it appears that when it comes tofeeds they’d rather keep users and external content inside Facebook.

  28. Posted 26 January 2010 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I was wondering if there was a way to post this directly to a group rather then to my main FB feed?

    I have a group that I am running on FB and would love to just post my blog posts there. Please let me know if this is possible.

    Thanks,

    Jeff

  29. Posted 27 January 2010 at 2:40 am | Permalink

    Jeff: This plugin only produces a feed – whether you can include the feed in a Facebook group, I don’t know.

  30. Posted 15 March 2010 at 3:20 am | Permalink

    Fore those having problems:

    Try tis: your_url/?feed=rss2&feedfacebook

  31. Posted 22 March 2010 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    Does FB have a problem with some domain names? My website is http://manch.ME and it doesn’t seem to want to allow me to add the feed, it returns with an error:

    “Import Failed.
    We couldn’t find a feed using the URL you provided.”

    I tried using both kind of links, the http://manch.me?feed=rss2&feedfacebook AND http://manch.me/feed/?feedfacebook

    Both eventually give the same result. Do you think it’s the .ME domain issue or something else?

  32. Posted 23 March 2010 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    Alex: The second URL doesn’t work which seems to suggest you don’t have pretty permalinks enabled. The first should work – whether you have permalinks enabled or not – but appears to be redirecting to feedburner. This plugin only supports the feedburner feedsmith plugin – maybe you’re using something else?

  33. Posted 2 April 2010 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Well, I have used this for awhile and have never really been satisfied. My feed looks fine….until you click to leave facebook. All you get is my website within the Facebook frame….FB ads are still on the right and all the facebook trapping are on the top and the bottom of the screen.

    I wrote here before and could not get it fixed….what is wrong?

  34. Posted 23 April 2010 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I am trying to use this plug in to have my blog posts automatically show up on my facebook fan page. Here is the url that is showing up on FB import blog line http://www.reallifedeals.com/?feed=rss2&feedfacebook

    But it is not auto posting from the blog. Any suggestion? Thanks a ton!

  35. Posted 23 April 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Sharon: this is a Facebook problem affecting all feed imports. Lots of people complaining about it here: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=2347471856&topic=11219
    Some suggest manual updates – which really defeats the purpose of having blog posts appear automatically in Facebook. Others recommend using a third-party Feed app within Facebook. I haven’t tried the last option myself but it might be worth a try.

  36. Posted 27 April 2010 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I had a few problems initially, but changed the URL;

    http://www.uk-domestic-cleaning.com/wpblog/?feed=rss2&feedfacebook=Read+the+full+post+on+my+blog

    I added =rss2& as advised on another post, as well as the + signs between the text I wanted to appear with each listing – worked a treat, imported everything on the blog.

    Thanks for a great plugin and all the posts which solved my problem in about 2 mins!

  37. Posted 17 May 2010 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Hi. I’ve been using you’re plugin for a while now and it worked great, that is until a few days ago. Now it doesn’t display de text expert, only the title and the read more link. Any idea why this happens?
    My blog. I use the /feed/?feedfacebook but i also tried the alternative ?feed=rss2&feedfacebook. Same result.
    Thanks

  38. Posted 20 May 2010 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Rada, which version of WordPress are you using, and can you point me to a feed URL?

  39. Posted 1 July 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    When I try to import my feed at Facebook, I receive an error saying that a feed couldn’t be located at the URL I provided. This is the URL:

    http://zillarella.com?feed=rss2&feedfacebook

    When I load the URL, I can see the XML feed. Could this be because I’m using the latest version of WordPress?

    Thanks for any suggestions!

  40. Posted 1 July 2010 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Lesa: I would say it’s a Facebook problem. If you can view your feed by accessing the URL yourself, Facebook should be able to see the same thing. I checked your feed in a feed validator and it validates fine so there’s nothing wrong with the feed itself.

  41. Posted 2 July 2010 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I notice a few people complaining that there new blog entries don’t come through “instantly”. Its been my observation that FB can be VERY slow pulling these things through, taking upto 7 days!

    They do eventually come through onto my facebook profile, but this isn’t an instant thing and the problem appears to be with facebook.

  42. Posted 10 July 2010 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    As HomeMaid said, yes, Facebook can be very slow in pulling feed items through. I noticed that before I discovered this plugin, so I’m convinced that Facebook just doesn’t place much importance on the speed with which users’ blog posts are pulled in.

  43. Posted 25 September 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    Seems like FB doesn’t like users leaving FB.

    Last night I installed your WP plugin and it was importing the feeds with the ?feedfacebook appended on the query string but when I went to save the settings it came back with an error “Sorry, an error has occurred.We’re working on getting this fixed as soon as we can.”
    Today I have tried again and this time it’s not even importing the feeds when setting up, yet it works fine if I leave out the ?feedfacebook
    ???

  44. Posted 25 September 2010 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Isy Bee: Can you load the feed URL directly in your browser with the ?feedfacebook part appended? If that works then it’s most likely a Facebook problem.

    FB’s feed handling appears to have deteriorated a lot – I don’t think it’s a big priority for them. You might have more luck with RSS Graffiti. It’s a Facebook application which appears to handle feeds better than Facebook’s builtin support: http://www.rssgraffiti.com

  45. JM
    Posted 28 October 2010 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Used to work fine. Now it places the entire post on FB, which I do not want to do. How do I change this? Thanks!

  46. Posted 28 October 2010 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    JM: Can you post a URL of your feed?

  47. include 1st image?
    Posted 6 January 2011 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Hi, is there a way how to include the first image of every post into the feed (like the plugin WP RSS Images does), and do you know if Facebook can handle them and display properly? Thanks!

  48. Posted 1 March 2011 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely positively wonderful app. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for for years. I’m so sick of using the “More” tag.

    This App Rules!

    (Oh, and yes I tested it and it works too.)

  49. Kelly
    Posted 27 April 2011 at 12:01 am | Permalink

    I’m a beginner when it comes to this. I’m looking for a plugin that will automatically publish my posts from wordpress to facebook. Is that what this does?

    I’ve downloaded the plugin activated it but I’m not sure what to do next. This just isn’t making sense to me: “querystring feedfacebook appended to the end.”

    Thanks for your help!!!! I’m sorry I just need it in Layman terms, so to speak! Do I need to do anything on Facebook or put my website URL into anything.

  50. Posted 27 April 2011 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Regarding ‘include first image’ – it might be possible but last time I checked Facebook did not include images even when they appeared in feed content.

    @tekHead: thanks!

    @Kelly: Facebook can already automatically publish WordPress posts if you register your feed with it. You don’t need a plugin to achieve this. See http://www.facebook.com/editnotes.php?import – all you need is your WordPress feed URL, which should look something like this: http://your_blog_address?feed=rss2 . With this plugin you are simply giving Facebook a shorter version of your feed so users are encouraged to come to your site to read the full content. If you want to do that, you enable the plugin and simply add feedfacebook to the end of your existing feed URL, e.g. http://your_blog_address?feed=rss2&feedfacebook

8 Trackbacks

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