Crawling facebook with R

January 15, 2012
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(This article was first published on Romain Francois, Professional R Enthusiast - Tag - R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)


So, let's crawl some data out of facebook using R. Don't get too excited though, this is just a weekend whatif project. Anyway, so for example, I want to download some photos where I'm tagged.

First, we need an access token from facebook. I don't know how to get this programmatically, so let's get one manually, log on to facebook and then go to the Graph API Explorer

graph_api_explorer.png

Grab the access token and save it into a variable in R

access_token <- "************..."

Now we need to study the graph api to figure out the url we need to build to do what we want to do, e.g. here we want "me/photos". I've wrapped this into an R function:

And then we can use it:

That's it, I told you it was not that exciting, but it was still worth playing with ...

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