Digital Marketing

How to Use Facebook Graph API to Collect Competitor’s Page Data

Use Facebook Graph API to Collect Competitor’s Page Data

To collect competitor’s page data using Facebook Graph API, obtain an access token, use endpoint “/{competitor_page_id}”, and fetch relevant fields like engagement, likes, and posts. Ensure compliance with API limits.

Facebook Graph API is an excellent tool that you can use to gain valuable insights into your competition’s social media strategy. You can use Facebook Graph API for competitive analysis so that you can easily understand and benchmark against industry rivals. This tool empowers businesses with actionable insights, aiding strategic decision-making and enhancing their own social media presence.

Brief Overview of Facebook Graph API

The Facebook Graph API is the primary tool for developers to interact with Facebook’s massive social graph. It’s an HTTP-based API that allows apps to:

  • Read data: Access user and page information, posts, comments, reactions, etc.
  • Write data: Create posts, upload photos, manage ads, etc.
  • Perform various tasks: Moderate content, manage permissions, analyze insights, etc.

Think of it as a bridge:

The Graph API connects your app with the enormous network of people, pages, and data that makes up the Facebook platform. Through this bridge, you can unlock valuable information and functionality to enhance your app’s capabilities.

Key features:

  • Resource-based: Everything on Facebook is represented as a resource with a unique ID.
  • Node and edge structure: Represents relationships between objects (nodes) through edges.
  • Field-specific data: Access specific data points for each resource.
  • Permission system: Controls what actions your app can perform.


  • Deep social integration: Build apps that leverage Facebook’s powerful social network.
  • Rich data access: Gain valuable insights into user behavior and trends.
  • Enhanced user experience: Create personalized and interactive app experiences.

What Can You Do with the Facebook Graph API?

The Facebook Graph API offers developers a potent tool for accessing and manipulating the vast social graph, opening doors to a world of possibilities. Let’s explore the diverse functionalities and applications that lie beneath its surface:

1. Accessing a Wealth of Data:

  • Uncover user profiles: Retrieve information like names, photos, interests, and demographics.
  • Explore posts and comments: Analyze user sentiment, engagement levels, and content trends.
  • Dive into photos and videos: Access albums, explore visual content, and gain insights into user preferences.
  • Discover groups and events: Analyze group activity, understand user communities, and discover event details.

2. Creating and Managing Content:

  • Publish posts and stories: Share content directly to Facebook user profiles or pages.
  • Create and manage events: Plan and organize events, invite users, and track RSVPs.
  • Upload photos and videos: Share visual content and engage users with captivating media.
  • Moderate comments and messages: Maintain a positive online environment and address user interactions.

3. Building Social Applications:

  • Develop social networking platforms: Connect people, facilitate communication, and foster online communities.
  • Create personalized news feeds: Deliver relevant content based on user interests and preferences.
  • Design interactive quizzes and games: Increase user engagement and encourage participation.
  • Build messaging applications: Enable private communication and facilitate group discussions.

4. Analyzing Insights and Trends:

  • Track page performance: Analyze the reach, engagement, and demographics of your audience.
  • Measure campaign effectiveness: Monitor ad performance and optimize your marketing strategies.
  • Identify user segments: Understand your audience and tailor your content to specific demographics.
  • Gain valuable feedback: Analyze user behavior and improve your app’s functionality.

5. Integrating with Other Platforms:

  • Connect your app with Facebook: Leverage Facebook’s login functionality and user base.
  • Share data across platforms: Synchronize information between your app and Facebook.
  • Extend your app’s reach: Utilize Facebook’s audience to promote your app and attract new users.
  • Create cross-platform experiences: Offer a seamless user experience across different platforms.

Beyond these core functionalities, the Facebook Graph API opens doors to numerous other possibilities, limited only by your imagination and creativity. Here are some examples:

  • Develop custom marketing tools: Create targeted campaigns, automate tasks, and measure results.
  • Build AI-powered chatbots: Interact with users, answer questions, and provide personalized assistance.
  • Design data visualization tools: Visualize social data and reveal hidden insights.
  • Empower social causes: Develop applications that support social movements and connect like-minded people.

Remember, responsible and ethical application of the Facebook Graph API is crucial. It’s vital to respect user privacy, comply with Facebook’s terms and conditions, and use the API for positive purposes.

How to Use Facebook Graph API to Collect Competitor’s Page Data

To leverage Facebook Graph API for competitor page data, start by obtaining access credentials through the Facebook Developer platform. Identify the competitor’s page and use API endpoints to gather information such as post engagement, follower demographics, and overall performance metrics. Ensure compliance with Facebook’s policies and guidelines while extracting valuable insights to enhance your own social media strategy.

Step 1: Get Access Token from the Facebook Graph API Explorer

An access token is your key to unlocking the power of the Facebook Graph API. It allows your application to access and manipulate data on Facebook, such as user information, posts, comments, and more. In this step, we’ll delve into the process of obtaining an access token using the Facebook Graph API Explorer:

  1. Visit the Facebook Graph API Explorer:
  2. Select Your App:
    • Click on the “Application” dropdown in the top-right corner and choose the app for which you want to generate the access token.
  3. Configure Permissions:
    • Click on the “User or Page” dropdown next to the Access Token field.
    • Choose whether you want an access token for a user or a page.
    • Select the necessary permissions based on the data you want to access.
  4. Generate Access Token:
    • Click the “Generate Access Token” button. If generating a user access token, you may need to log in and grant the required permissions.
  5. Copy Access Token:
    • Once generated, a long string of characters is displayed in the Access Token field.
    • Copy this access token to use in your API requests.
  6. Choose Access Token Type:
    • Optionally, you can choose different token types like User Token, App Token, or Page Token based on your use case.
  7. Expiration and Debugging:
    • Note the expiration time of the access token. User tokens are typically short-lived.
    • You can debug the token by clicking the “Submit” button and checking the token details and permissions.
  8. Use in API Requests:
    • Paste the copied access token into the access_token parameter when making API requests.

Step 2: Get your competitor’s Facebook Fan Page ID from the Graph API

In the previous step, we acquired the necessary access token, our key to unlocking the treasure trove of data within the Facebook Graph API. Now, it’s time to unlock the next door: retrieving your competitor’s Facebook Fan Page ID.

Here’s how we can extract this crucial information:

1. Craft your API request:

The Facebook Graph API utilizes a query-based system. To retrieve your competitor’s Fan Page ID, we need to construct a specific URL that includes the relevant information.

Here’s the basic structure of the URL:<page_username>/


  • <page_username> is the public username of your competitor’s Facebook Fan Page.


To find the Fan Page ID of the “Coca-Cola” page, we would use the following URL:

2. Execute the request:

There are two ways to execute your API request:

A. Using the Graph API Explorer:

  • Paste the constructed URL into the “URL” field of the Graph API Explorer.
  • Click the “Submit” button.
  • The response will contain a JSON object with various information about the Fan Page, including its ID.

B. Using code:

You can write code in various programming languages like Python, JavaScript, or PHP to send the request directly to the Facebook Graph API. This approach offers more flexibility and control over the data retrieval process.

3. Extract the Fan Page ID:

The response from your API request will be a JSON object containing various information about the Fan Page. Look for the "id" attribute, which stores the unique Fan Page ID.

Step 3: Pulling data from your competitor’s Facebook page

Armed with your access token and your competitor’s Facebook Fan Page ID, we’re now ready to delve into the exciting realm of data extraction. This step will equip you with valuable insights into your competitor’s social media strategy, allowing you to benchmark your performance and identify areas for improvement. Here’s how to pull data from your competitor’s Facebook page:

1. Craft your API call:

The Facebook Graph API utilizes specific API calls to retrieve data. The structure of the call depends on the type of data you want to extract. Here are some examples:

  • Pulling basic Fan Page information:<page_id>?fields=id,name,category,picture
  • Retrieving recent posts:<page_id>/posts?fields=id,message,created_time,permalink_url,likes.summary(true),comments.summary(true),shares.summary(true)

  • Extracting comments on a specific post:<post_id>/comments?fields=id,message,created_time,likes.summary(true)

In each example, replace the placeholder values with the relevant information:

  • <page_id>: Your competitor’s Fan Page ID
  • <post_id>: The ID of the specific post you want to analyze

2. Execute the call:

You can execute your API call using the same methods as in Step 2:

  • Graph API Explorer: Paste the URL into the Graph API Explorer and click “Submit.”
  • Code: Implement code in your preferred programming language to send the request directly to the API.

3. Parse the response:

The response will be a JSON object containing the requested data. You can use tools like JSON viewers or libraries in your programming language to analyze and interpret the data.

4. Analyze and utilize the data:

With the extracted data in hand, you can begin to analyze your competitor’s social media strategy. Look for insights such as:

  • Post frequency and timing: Analyze their posting schedule and identify peak engagement times.
  • Content type and performance: Examine the types of content they share and which ones resonate best with their audience.
  • Engagement metrics: Analyze likes, comments, shares, and other engagement metrics to gauge their audience interaction.
  • Campaign trends: Identify any recurring themes or campaigns in their content strategy.

By analyzing this data, you can gain valuable insights into your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. This information can help you:

  • Develop a stronger social media strategy: Learn from their successes and avoid their mistakes.
  • Improve your content performance: Create engaging content that resonates with your target audience.
  • Identify new opportunities: Discover trends and capitalize on them before your competitors.

Step 4: Converting JSON file to CSV/Excel

In the previous steps, we successfully extracted valuable data from your competitor‘s Facebook page. Now, it’s time to convert this data into a format that is easily accessible and readily usable for analysis. This is where the conversion from JSON to CSV or Excel comes into play.

Why convert JSON to CSV/Excel?

  • Human-readable: CSV and Excel files are displayed in a tabular format, making them easier to read and understand than raw JSON data.
  • Accessible for analysis: Spreadsheet software like Excel and Google Sheets offer powerful tools for data analysis, sorting, filtering, and creating visualizations.
  • Collaboration: Sharing data in a common format like CSV facilitates collaboration with team members who might not be familiar with JSON.

Here are four ways to convert JSON to CSV/Excel:

1. Online Converters:

Several online tools can effortlessly convert JSON to CSV or Excel. Some popular options include:

These tools offer a quick and easy solution for small datasets. Simply upload your JSON file and choose your desired output format.

2. Spreadsheet software:

Both Excel and Google Sheets offer built-in functionality to import JSON data. Here’s how to do it:


  • Click the “Data” tab.
  • Select “Get External Data” > “From Text/CSV.”
  • Browse and select your JSON file.
  • Choose “Delimited” and click “Next.”
  • Select the appropriate delimiter (usually comma) and click “Next.”
  • Specify how you want to import the data and click “Finish.”

Google Sheets:

  • Click the “File” menu.
  • Choose “Import” > “Upload.”
  • Select your JSON file and click “Open.”
  • Choose “Convert to Google Sheets” and click “Import.”

3. Programming languages:

If you’re comfortable with programming, you can use libraries in various languages like Python (json.load() and csv.writer()) or JavaScript (JSON.parse()) to parse the JSON data and write it to a CSV or Excel file.

4. Dedicated tools:

Some dedicated tools like “jq” (command-line utility) or “JSONtoExcel” can handle large datasets and offer more customization options for data conversion.

No matter which method you choose, remember to:

  • Choose the appropriate delimiter: Commas are commonly used, but other delimiters like tabs might be necessary depending on your data.
  • Handle nested data structures: Ensure your chosen method correctly translates nested objects and arrays within the JSON file.
  • Review and adjust: After conversion, verify the data accuracy and structure before proceeding with your analysis.

By successfully converting your JSON data to CSV or Excel, you unlock a world of possibilities for analysis, collaboration, and actionable insights. Now, you can readily explore trends, identify patterns, and make informed decisions based on your competitor’s social media strategy.

How to Get an Access Token from the Facebook Graph API Explorer that Never Expires

Unfortunately, there is no way to obtain a never-expiring access token from the Facebook Graph API Explorer. All access tokens generated through the Explorer expire after 60 days.

However, there are alternative methods for obtaining longer-lasting access tokens:

1. Long-Lived User Access Token:

  • Create a Facebook app and generate a short-lived user access token using the Graph API Explorer.
  • Go to the Facebook App Dashboard and navigate to Settings > Basic.
  • Copy your App ID and App Secret.
  • Use a tool like or Facebook Access Token Debugger to convert your short-lived user access token to a long-lived one. This will typically be valid for 60 days.
  • You can further extend the lifespan of this token by clicking “Extend Access Token” in the Facebook Access Token Debugger. This will renew the token for an additional 60 days.

2. Page Access Token:

  • Create a Facebook app and obtain an App Access Token.
  • Go to your Facebook Page settings and navigate to Instagram > Advanced Settings.
  • Click the “Get Access Token” button.
  • This will generate a long-lived Page Access Token that is valid for two years.

3. Business Manager Access Token:

  • Create a Facebook Business Manager account and link your Facebook app and page.
  • Generate a Business Manager Access Token by navigating to Business Settings > Developers > Business Tokens.
  • This token can be used for various Facebook Business Manager functionalities, including accessing page insights and managing ads.

4. Client Credentials Flow:

This method involves using your app’s credentials (App ID and App Secret) to generate access tokens for specific users. This flow is more complex than the others but offers greater control over the token’s lifespan and permissions.

The Closure

Through this comprehensive guide, we’ve explored the intricacies of the Graph API, delving into its core concepts, functionalities, and step-by-step instructions for accessing valuable data. We’ve also highlighted the importance of responsible and ethical data usage, encouraging developers to respect user privacy and comply with Facebook’s terms of service.

Whether you’re an aspiring developer, a seasoned marketer, or simply someone curious about the social media landscape, the Facebook Graph API offers a valuable resource for exploring, analyzing, and leveraging the power of Facebook’s social graph. By diligently learning, practicing, and adopting responsible practices, you can unlock a world of possibilities and contribute to the ever-evolving digital landscape.

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