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0.34 Facebook Comments

One of the latest WordPress plugins I have found is one used for Facebook. Facebook Comments will pull comments left on Facebook within the Notes application and import them into one’s WordPress blog. I’ve started using the Notes application lately and found it quite annoying that I could not keep my comments synced up in a single location. Well thanks to this plugin I can.

Except that now it is broken. Facebook Comments relies heavily on regular expressions to find the comments within the HTML of the Facebook page. Whenever the HTML is updated (which seems to happen often lately), a change to the Facebook Comments plugin is needed. The guy that originally wrote the plugin seems to be quite busy and wasn’t able to get around to a fix so I took a quick stab at it. Not only did I fix it (I think), I also added an additional feature that allows one to give a default url for all Facebook comment posters.

I haven’t been able to reach the original creator yet to offer my solution so I’ll post it here until he responds. Please enjoy it and let me know if you find any additional errors in it. I must state that my regular expression skills are nonexistent and I had to do the best that I could with my limited knowledge.

Change Log:

  • 0.36 – March 21 2009 – Due to the latest changes from Facebook, a few changes were needed for the plugin. I’m now posting my 0.36 version that I’ve tested locally. This will remove the extra link Facebook adds when a comment is too long. I did notice a new bug that deals with how Facebook changes links within comments, but that’s a fix for another day and time.
  • 0.35 – March 13 2009 – Due to the latest changes from Facebook, a few changes were needed for the plugin. I’m now posting my 0.35 version that I’ve tested locally.
  • 0.34 – March 01 2009

Update for April 30, 2010: I have decided to end all development and future development related to this plugin. The reasoning for this change can be found here. I have closed the ability to post comments to this post and hope any further comments will be directed at my reasoning post.

Posted under Internet | Tagged as , ,


Mattias Says:
March 7th, 2009 at 4:49 am

I’ve got some problems. Here it goes.

Manually importing comments…

Checking for comments on http://www.gooner.se/wordpress/mediaupdate/?&owa_from=feed&owa_sid=
Checking for comments on http://www.gooner.se/wordpress/arsenal-gjorde-mal/?&owa_from=feed&owa_sid=
Error, original comment post not found…
Error, original comment post not found…
Error, original comment post not found…

Any ideas?

Ben Says:
March 8th, 2009 at 10:44 pm

If you look in the logic of the plugin, you’ll see when that error exists.

It seems that the Facebook feed and your site’s feed may not be matching up which could be causing the error.

Benjamin Trice Says:
March 11th, 2009 at 10:42 pm

Looks like this plugin will need to be written yet again thanks to a Facebook Facelift.


james d. low / work / Facebook Comments Says:
March 22nd, 2009 at 10:13 am

[…] Log: 0.36 Latest fixes for facebook with changes from Benjamin Trice 0.33 Option to not import comments for posts whose comment status is closed. 0.32 Should work for […]

Ben Says:
March 22nd, 2009 at 11:38 am

Thanks James.

Aleksandar Says:
April 6th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

Hi, first of all, great rework.
Now, there’s a tiny problem with the 0.36 version – it seems that even the comments get properly imported, the link under the comment author’s name is the link of the person above. Check my blog and see the comments – there’s always one last comment without the link in it, and the link to that person is the link in the comment ABOVE. It goes back to the very first comment.Could You please check this?

Ben Says:
April 6th, 2009 at 7:47 pm

If I have time this weekend, I’ll try to take a look, but no promises.

I don’t use the author urls so I wouldn’t have seen it.

Mads Nielsen Says:
April 23rd, 2009 at 8:45 am


I simply can’t get this plugin to work.

When i try to import the comments, it shows:

Manually importing comments…

– and nothing else.

can you help me?

Simon Wedege Petersen Says:
April 24th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I get the same problem as Mads. I hope someone can fix it, as it’s a very cool and useful plugin.

Ben Says:
April 26th, 2009 at 11:50 am

I’m starting to feel like James here with this plugin and finding time to update it.

I know there are a few minor bugs currently within the plugin, but it does work to some degree.

The biggest current issue is you need to give the plugin time to manually grab the comments because Facebook has become increasingly slow to login over the past few months. I know that when I run the plugin it takes almost 2 minutes before anything starts to being pulled back.

Please first check to see if the plugin is just taking longer than expected to run.

Simon Wedege Petersen Says:
April 26th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Hi Ben,

Maybe I’m not patient enough, but I’ll try again to leave for a while.

Facebook should definitely get an API for this!

Andrew Casad Says:
May 1st, 2009 at 10:09 pm

Now that facebook has created an API are you (or James Low) planning to update the facebook comments plugin to capitalize on this?
See http://wiki.developers.facebook.com/index.php/Comments.get

Ben Says:
May 1st, 2009 at 11:56 pm

It’s about freakin’ time.

I don’t know about James but I might try to take a look this weekend.

Mike Barnkob Says:
May 4th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

That sounds great, it would be fantastic if you would let us know how it works out (and where to get it) 🙂


Ben Says:
May 4th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

I took a look tonight and it seems that the API for Comments is more for adding comments to a Facebook application and not pulling them back from Facebook.

I fooled around with other pieces of the API and was able to return all of the Notes, but could not figure out how to retrieve the comments from my Notes. Until Facebook continues to develop the API, it might be best for our plugin community here to look into updating the plugin……..again.

I started working on an update tonight. I’m close but the Author Name is off on certain posts due to my regular expression. Maybe I can make more progress later this week. I’ve also added a new feature that lets you test the plugin since we are having to constantly update it. The test prints out to the screen what is returned by the plugin.

Andy Chen Says:
May 11th, 2009 at 2:51 am

Has there been any progress on a fix for this great plugin?



Ben Says:
May 11th, 2009 at 6:35 am

I’m still struggling to fix the Author Name but the other fields look to be good so far (for the most part).

I’ve contacted James (the original) author with my changes so far. Hopefully our combined effort can get this plugin back working before Facebook changes their HTML again.

Keith Says:
May 30th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

Any luck chaps? Keep rockin’.

Russ Says:
June 9th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Just wondering if any progress has been made with this plugin?? It doesn’t import, just says “checking for comments”

Chris Says:
June 13th, 2009 at 11:55 am

Have you considered using fql (facebook query language) to extract the comments.


Ben Says:
June 13th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

No update since my comment from May 11th (see above). Sorry about the delay but I’ve had my mind focused on other items for a while. Maybe I’ll get a chance to work out a fix sooner rather than later.

The biggest issue with this plugin is Facebook’s love for changing their HTML around. Whenever it changes, it breaks the plugin and that change can happen once a week. Chris mentioned above the use of FQL (facebook query language) but the problem is with what facebook allows you to pull with the fql. If you look at the available tables, only two are related to what the plugin does. The first is the Note table. This table can pull back all of the information related to the Notes posted, but not the comments associated with the post. The other table is the Comment table. My understanding with this table is it is related to different comments not associated with the Notes posts. If this understanding is incorrect, please feel free to let me know. I did try the FQL route when it was first released.

Chris Says:
June 14th, 2009 at 10:30 am

Looks like your right, I examined comment table this morning and the table seems to be made for comments created by external applications. I have yet to find a way to query comments made by native facebook apps. like Notes.

AJ Harbison Says:
July 7th, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Hi Ben,
Thanks for your work in trying to keep this plugin on track. I’m having trouble installing the 0.36 fix on my site, though. I assume that the way to do it is copy the text file, go to the plugin in WP admin, edit it and paste your text over the text that’s already there. But when I do this, it gives me an error message that says “Plugin could not be activated because it triggered a fatal error. Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING in /home1/ajharbis/public_html/thelisteningblog/wp-content/plugins/facebook-comments/facebooknotes.php on line 394.” How do I fix this? Please let me know. Thanks!

AJ Harbison

Ardi Coetzee Says:
July 23rd, 2009 at 3:54 am

Hi Everyone
I just tried this plugin again, and still no luck. Has anybody else had any luck? Are there any future plans on this plugin? I’ve looked pretty much everywhere and everything points to needing a plugin designed specifically to import comments?

JReid Says:
July 26th, 2009 at 10:35 pm

No luck here either. The plugin appears to be working, “checking for comments” on every page in facebook, but nothing shows up in comments afterward. hopefully someday a fix will come. This would be one great plugin…

Ben Says:
July 29th, 2009 at 10:37 pm

Don’t get your hopes up but here’s the best I can offer for now. It isn’t much but it is something.

0.38D Facebook Comments

Ariah Fine Says:
January 25th, 2010 at 2:23 pm

So, what’s the latest? Anyone have a clue if Facebook is going to open this up a little more at some point?