Ever wanted to save a bunch of FaceBook comments? Looking for a better way to find old posts that get buried in the timeline? Turns out that Microsoft PowerBI desktop (free download) and Excel (with PowerQuery COM Add-in) can help.
The Short Story:
- Start a new Query and Get Data from FaceBook. Use ‘Me’ or the ‘ObjectID’ of a page as source. Leave the ‘Connection’ blank, we can drill into timeline or posts on the fly. (hint: ObjectID of a page is simply the last bit of the URL for the page)
- Drill into the connections Record (the string ‘Record’ is a hyperlink that will expand to show available connections). Drill into either the posts or feed Table (if in doubt, start with posts).
- If you get an error it is most likely an API limit that can be worked around by munging the source string in the M-language (Advanced Editor). Try something like:
- Source = Facebook.Graph(“https://graph.facebook.com/v2.2/Me/posts?since=2006-08-12&limit=10“),
- Find the post you want (hint: filter ‘message’ column to get a nice alphabetical list of posts which is by far the best way to read mainstream media pages!). Expand the comments Table to reveal the comments you are after.
- Expand the from column to get name of the commentor, and the object_link column to get other interesting information. (count of likes is always interesting).
- Close and Load your query, create a simple report table to expose the fields you want in the order you want and either publish them to PowerBI.com or export to a spreadsheet (this whole process can be done from within Excel using the PowerQuery COM add-in, which requires the right kind of Excel license from Microsoft).
PowerBI Desktop makes a great FaceBook browser (and it’s a free download for windows)
The Long Story: