Topic: Capturing Facebook

Facebook Troubleshooting & FAQs

"New Facebook" Notice—updated Nov 16, 2020

Facebook has announced that it will be converting all users over to its new layout, called New Facebook. 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 timeframes to reduce the amount of content loaded

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. We are testing a solution for timeline breakdown that is currently in beta testing. If you would like to have access to the beta, please contact our support team to get trained and have the feature enabled on your account.  

In the meantime, we suggest using your account in "Classic Facebook" mode, which can still utilize the Navigation Bar method of breaking down a timeline. You can find instructions for switching to Classic Facebook here and how to use the Navigation Bar method here.

 
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 smaller sections 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.

 

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

Issues related to New Facebook

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. 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.

Our team has a new solution in testing, which we expect to roll out in mid-November. In the meantime, please see this article on the workarounds we suggest for issues related to New Facebook. 

Other Known Issues

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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