Topic: Capturing Facebook

Facebook Troubleshooting & FAQs

"New Facebook" Notice—updated Sept 25, 2020

Facebook has announced that it will be converting all users over to its new layout—called New Facebook—in September 2020. This has impacted the way Facebook profiles can be collected in Page Vault. We will highlight any changes in the quesitons below. A full update can be found on our dedicated New Facebook help page here.

Do I have to log in to capture Facebook content?

Almost all of the content on Facebook will require you to be signed into an account to view it. If you do not want to use your personal account, check with your firm to see if you have a generic or “Examiner” account that they use to view and collect Facebook pages.

Facebook freezes when I try to collect the page.

Facebook freezing or taking a very long time to scroll is due to two things: 

  1. Data loading limitations by Facebook; and
  2. All browsers—including Page Vault Browser—have limits on how much content they can load at once. If the user posts very frequently, there simply may be too much content to load at one time in the browser. This has become an even greater problem with New Facebook, as the new design requires significantly more data to load. 

Here are some ways we have found to work around these issues.

1. Disable "video autoplay" in Facebook settings. 

Allowing Facebook videos to automatically start playing while scrolling the timelines consumes significant CPU & browser resources, as well as calling from Facebook’s database. To disable:

Method 1: Use Page Vault's Built-In Option
  1. Navigate to Facebook and log in (the option will not be available if you are not on a Facebook page)
  2. Click on the hamburger menu in the right corner of the capture menu bar. A menu will appear; select "Turn off video auto-play..."
  3. A dialog box will appear to confirm that you want to have Page Vault turn off video auto-play for you. Click yes.
  4. A new tab will open, navigate to your Facebook settings, and turn auto-play off for you. You can now proceed with your Facebook captures.
Method 2: Manually Turn Off Auto-Play
  1. Navigate to Facebook settings (in the far left corner of the Facebook menu bar)
  2. Select Videos from the left menu options (at the very bottom)
  3. For Auto-Play videos, select “Off” from the drop-down menu

2. Break the Timeline into smaller "chunks" to reduce the amount of content loaded (Classic Facebook only).

All browsers—including Page Vault Browser—have limits on how much content they can load at once. If the user posts very frequently, there simply may be too much content to load at one time in the browser. 

New Facebook update: In the past, we have advised clients on how to use some of Facebook's hidden functionality for jumping to specific time periods on an individual's timeline. Unfortunately, Facebook appears to have removed these options entirely in New Facebook. Our team is testing a new solution, which we are aiming to roll out to clients in October.

If you can: Use Classic Facebook and use the "Navigation Bar" method

If your account is able to switch, we recommend using Classic Facebook mode rather than using the new layout. You will be able to both use our classic Facebook Expander and utilize the navigation bar method for jumping to a date.

To switch to Classic Facebook: in the upper right hand corner of the screen, click the down arrow to show menu options (see image below) and select "Switch to Classic Facebook."

Instructions for the different ways you can do that can be found on our help page “Capturing content from specific date ranges on Facebook”.

Note that there are two types of pages that you cannot break down by date:
  • Business or public person profiles—known in Facebook as “Pages”
  • Personal profiles that have a legacy Facebook data structure
You can see more on both of these below under “Why don’t the date range breakdown methods work on this Facebook timeline?”

We recognize that breaking the profile into chunks will take some additional time, but for extremely large profiles, this may be the only approach. This is the technique our web-capture experts use internally for large Facebook profiles when we handle outsourced projects for clients with Page Vault On Demand.

Alternatively, let Page Vault capture it for you with Page Vault On Demand.

If you’d prefer to have experienced capture professionals make the capture for you, Page Vault can help. Facebook timeline captures start at $269 for Page Vault Browser clients. Quotes are free and require no commitment.

To receive a quote, simply submit an On Demand Quote Request form with the URL you are trying to capture and we’ll send you a quote to have our staff make the capture.

When I click "Expand" on a timeline, it won't even start.

New Facebook Update as of Sept 8, 2020: Page Vault Browser has been updated and you can now use the Expand button on New Facebook. If you have the New Facebook layout and the Expand function doesn't work, please contact the Page Vault Support team immediately. In the meantime, revert back to Classic Facebook and the Expand button should work again.

To revert back to Classic Facebook

In the upper right hand corner of the screen, click the down arrow to show menu options (see image below) and select "Switch to Classic Facebook."

Why don’t the date range breakdown methods work on this Facebook timeline?

In the past, we have advised clients on how to use some of Facebook's hidden functionality for jumping to specific time periods on an individual's timeline. Unfortunately, Facebook appears to have removed these options entirely with the rollout of New Facebook. Our team is exploring new ways to break timelines into smaller time periods, but we do not have a firm solution to be rolled out yet. Specifically:

  • Date Range Method: This functionality has been removed entirely from Facebook.
  • Navigation Bar Method: This functionality continues to work in Classic Facebook, but is not available in the New Facebook layout.

Even without New Facebook, unfortunately there are two specific types of timelines that do not have the ability to navigate by date:

  • “Pages” for businesses or public persons.
  • Personal profiles that have a legacy Facebook data structure. (We use the term “legacy profile” here for clarity, but note that it is not an official Facebook term.)

You can identify a “legacy profile” by its URL. Legacy profiles have “profile.php?id=” as the identifier rather than a username.
Legacy profile: facebook.com/profile.php?id=
Regular profile: facebook.com/username

The Navigation Bar method may work some Legacy personal profiles in Classic Facebook.

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