This guide will explain the four main publishing styles available in RSS Graffiti. It is important to select the publishing style that works best for your content. Remember, better looking posts means higher engagement, and more clicks!
The most basic publishing style is the Status Update:
When this style option is selected, RSS Graffiti will publish the title of each feed item as a text-only post. You can also include the URL for that feed item by clicking the “Append link” check box in the style options. This post style is best for brief, text-only messages to your friends or fans.
Another publishing option is the Compact style:
Similar to a status update, this option will create posts using the title of the feed item as text. Below the feed item title, there is a “Read Full Story” link back to the feed item URL, and a customizable “Source” link. By default, the Source link is the homepage of the feed being published, but this can be customized in the source settings. Compact style posts are great for including links in short message published to fans, but like status updates, these posts will not include any description text or media thumbnails.
The next appearance option is the Standard style:
The default and most popular, this style includes the title of the feed item as a link back to the original post, the description text from the feed item, and any media attached to the feed item, including properly embedded images, video, and flash. You can move the description text below the title link with the “move to text box” option, or limit the description text length to a fixed number of characters with the “shorten to” setting.
If incorrect images are appearing with your standard style posts, the most common cause is that your RSS doesn’t include images in the feed. If there isn’t an image attached to the feed item, Facebook will automatically scrape the page being linked to for an image to use. But what if, instead of using the data from the RSS feed, you want Facebook to scrape everything from your page in order to generate the title, description text, and thumbnail?
If you want Facebook to generate all the post details for you, instead of relying on the RSS feed, select the Facebook Default Formatting style setting. With this option selected, RSS Graffiti will send the feed item’s link to Facebook, and Facebook will automatically scrape your page for the title, description text, and thumbnail. All other content in the feed is ignored when this setting is selected. This post appearance is what you see when a link to your content is pasted in a manual Facebook post. You can always control what appears in Facebook’s automatically generated preview using OpenGraph tags in the HTML of the page being linked to.
That’s all for this basic overview of the four main RSS Graffiti style options. These settings are available in the target options window, which can be accessed by clicking on the name of your Facebook page or profile in the publishing plan dashboard. Have questions or need help? Please don’t hesitate to open a thread in our community support forum. Happy posting!
Want your fans to automatically share your content? RSS Graffiti AutoShare empowers your readers to automatically share posts to your feed with their own friends and fan!
Here’s how it works: When a reader clicks an AutoShare link, they are directed to install RSS Graffiti with your feed pre-loaded as the source of a new publishing plan. Once they select a target, such their Facebook profile, and enable the plan, new items in your RSS feed will automatically publish to their timeline. This allows your readers to spread the word for all their fans and followers to see.
To generate an AutoShare link for your feed, visit app.rssgraffiti.com/autoshare and select your source from the drop down menu. If you’re not currently using RSS Graffiti, you may want to first test the feed with your own publishing plan. Next, select badge, icon, or link, and customize the text. When you’re happy with the preview, paste the embed code onto your web site.
When your readers click this AutoShare link, they are installing RSS Graffiti preloaded with your feed. Make sure your readers understand that when a new item is posted to your feed, it will automatically publish to the Facebook profile or page they select as a target. If they would like to stop posting your content at any time, all they need to do is visit app.rssgraffiti.com and turn off or delete the publishing plan.
We think you’ll find AutoShare a powerful tool to amplify the reach of your content. For more info about this new feature, check out our quick video walkthrough, or visit app.rssgraffiti.com/autoshare to get started right away!
We’re proud to announce premium subscription add-ons are now available! Optimize your content strategy with analytics and advanced scheduling, or supercharge RSS Graffiti’s publishing speed with the Express add-on. Click on the new “Premium Features” tab in the app dashboard for 14 day FREE trials. For more info, check out our newly redesigned web site: http://www.rssgraffiti.com
The Broadcast add-on is also available, but the 300 posts per page monthly limit will not go into effect until July 1st for existing users.
All subscription plans come packaged with premium email support to assist you in making the most of the service. We hope you like the new look-and-feel of the app, and thanks again for using RSS Graffiti!
We’re excited to announce the release of some major improvements to the look-and-feel of posts. Image thumbnails are now up to 60% larger. The “share” link on standard-style posts has been upgraded, and will now be translated to your local language. By popular request, the source: link has been removed.
Additionally, there are few changes to get ready for the launch of our premium add-ons. Scheduling options are located by clicking the clock icon at the top of each publishing plan. All post counts have been reset to zero, but from now on, more detailed logging will be available in the stats view.
If you don’t see these changes yet, they should appear on your dashboard in the next few days.
We’d love to hear your feedback! Feel free to drop us a line in our forum with any glowing praise, comments, or concerns. And keep checking the Facebook page for updates on our premium add-ons (coming soon!)
Coming Soon: RSS Graffiti Premium Features and a New Look
BIG changes are underway at RSS Graffiti. In May, you’ll notice our new look with an updated logo, website and Facebook app page. We’ll be giving away t-shirts to users who take a cool photo of our logo in an interesting location. Check out our Facebook page for updates!
Starting in May, we’ll also be offering two new premium paid features. Although we’ll continue to offer our basic features for free, the new premium features are specifically designed to help boost engagement with your audience, enabling you to deliver content to Facebook with more speed, flexibility, and insight than ever before. In addition, we will limit the number of FREE posts per Facebook target to 300 per month. For high volume publishers who need more than 300 posts per month (that’s 10 posts per day), we’re offering the Broadcast package, which includes up to 2000 posts per Facebook target page for a flat $5 monthly rate. After we officially launch the post limits in May, we’ll include a 30-day grace period for all current users who post more than 300 times per target page each month.
New Premium Features and Post Limit Package:
OPTIMIZE - $50 per month for ALL PUBLISHING PLANS! Among a million other tasks, you must manage the creation, distribution AND performance of Facebook content. Optimize is designed with you in mind. Our actionable insights provide a visual guide to which content boosts engagement. This knowledge, paired with the new advanced scheduling tool, empowers you to quickly adjust campaigns, boosting engagement and improving the EdgeRank score of your posts.
14-day free trial. Give it a try for FREE!
Actionable Insights - Graphs, charts, scatter plots and easy to read visual data provide post and page performance data to help improve content performance and engagement
Pull detailed analytics data (even non-RSS Graffiti data) from the past 90 days
Advanced Scheduling for time-of-day and day-of-week
Flat Fee for all publishing plans, pages, and groups you administer
Includes Premium Email Support
EXPRESS PUBLISHING - $150 per month for unlimited usage Express Publishing is built for distributing high-priority content like breaking news, important updates, and emergency messaging. Express is a priority lane for publishers who absolutely must push stories from their feed to Facebook in 5 minutes or less. With Express, you can trust that your posts will be updated up to 600% faster than our free 30-minute option.
14-day free trial. Give it a try for FREE.
VIP post prioritization
Actual post times may be less than 2 minutes
Monthly flat fee applies to all publishing plans managed by the account admin
Includes Premium Email Support
BROADCAST - $5 per per month per Facebook target Are you a high-volume publisher who uses RSS Graffiti to post more than 300 times a month to a single page? The Broadcast package is for you.
Up to 2000 posts per Facebook target page per month for $5 bucks
If you need more than 2000 posts per target per month, contact us and we’ll discuss on a case-by-case basis.
Includes Premium Email Support
Please follow our blog, Twitter and Facebook page as we reveal more details. If you have questions about the coming changes, please visit our Community Support Forum. Someone from our team is standing by, happy to address any concerns you might have.
Once again, thank you for using RSS Graffiti and for supporting our small but passionate team.
Post Limit Updates and the Premium Optimize Package
Last week we announced we’ll be offering two new Premium Features and new posting limits. We received a lot of feedback, including ideas on how we can continue to improve RSS Graffiti and support our ongoing efforts. We’re happy to have such a thoughtful and supportive community of customers and we’re making changes based on your input. Thanks!
Understanding that the needs of a breaking news organization differ from those of an individual blogger, we wanted to introduce a post frequency option that works for everyone. That’s why in May we’ll be launching a post package called Broadcast. With Broadcast, all customers will receive up to 300 posts per month to each Facebook target page for FREE. For our higher volume publishers, we’ll be offering up to 2000 posts per Facebook target page for a flat monthly fee of $5. For ANY user that wants to post more than 2000 posts to a single page in a month, please give us a shout and we will make exceptions to this limit on a case-by-case basis. Just like before, there will be a 30-day grace period so the limits won’t kick in immediately (posting will continue to be unlimited until June).
Our goal is to offer as much flexibility as possible while enhancing overall Facebook engagement for all of our users. That said, we’re also be offering a new premium feature called Optimize. The Optimize package is designed with strategic content marketers and publishers in mind, and will help customers learn what content is most effective as well as when it’s most likely to be consumed. Optimize provides analytics for ALL your Facebook content, not just content posted via RSS Graffiti. Moreover, the Optimize package includes an advanced scheduling tool which allows you to plan precisely when to distribute content. Optimize provides an easy way for all publishers to actively improve the performance of their content. We’re going to offer Optimize for $50 per month, and will come with analytics and advanced scheduling for ALL of your publishing plans.
In our next post, we’ll provide more details on Optimize as well as our other premium feature designed for Breaking and Urgent News publishers.
Please keep sending us comments and ideas and follow our blog, Twitter and Facebook posts throughout April as we reveal more details, including the premium feature benefits and pricing options. If you have questions about the coming changes, please visit our Community Support Forum. Someone from our team is standing by, happy to address any concerns you might have.
Thanks for using RSS Graffiti. Customers like you have helped RSS Graffiti grow into the most powerful, flexible, and fully featured application in its class, generating more than a quarter billion impressions each day across hundreds of thousands of Facebook targets.
We want to continue improving RSS Graffiti with features that help our users build an engaged Facebook audience. To support our ongoing efforts, we’ll be offering two new premium paid features. The new features are specifically designed to help you boost engagement with your audience, delivering content to Facebook with more speed, flexibility, and insight than ever before.
In addition, we will limit the number of FREE posts per Facebook target to 250 per month. Post bundles after 250 will now be sold in tiers starting at $5 per Facebook target, per month (i.e. up to 500, up to 1500, etc.). After we officially launch these features in May, we’ll include a 30-day grace period for all current users who post more than 250 times per target page, per month.
The majority of RSS Graffiti users will see NO CHANGE other than additional FREE features and the option to try the premium upgrades. For our high volume users, after the 30-day grace period ends in June, posting will stop after you hit the free 250 monthly post limit per Facebook target, unless you choose to purchase additional post bundles.
It’s important for us to repeat that the vast majority of our users will see NO CHANGE and will be able to continue using RSS Graffiti for FREE. Only those of you who post more than 250 times per month to a single Facebook page, profile or group will be affected by the changes.
Please follow our blog, Twitter and Facebook posts throughout April as we reveal more details, including the premium feature benefits and pricing options. If you have questions about the coming changes, please visit our Community Support Forum. Someone from our team is standing by, happy to address any concerns you might have.
Once again, thank you for using RSS Graffiti. We’re confident that our new premium features will prove valuable, adding robust new capabilities to an application that so many of you have grown to depend on. Thanks for your support!
Instagram users!! Did you know there’s a public RSS feed for every hashtag on the popular photo sharing service? Using these feeds as a source, RSS Graffiti can automatically publish photos to your page, profile, or group whenever they’re uploaded to Instagram with a particular hashtag. Here’s how to get set up:
First, open up the publishing plan dashboard and create a new publishing plan. Select your profile or a page to use as the target. If you run into trouble, see our getting started guide.
Next, get the hashtag feed you want to publish. Use this format: http://instagram.com/tags/HASHTAG/feed/recent.rss replacing “HASHTAG” with your desired hashtag. For example, the feed for the hashtag #palmtrees would be: http://instagram.com/tags/palmtrees/feed/recent.rss
After adding this as your source URL, set your scheduling options, click save, and switch ON the publishing plan. The next time a photo is uploaded to Instagram with your chosen hashtag, RSS Graffiti will automatically publish it to Facebook. It really is that easy.
Now just imagine what you can do with these hashtag feeds: marketers can take advantage of crowdsourced content to engage their online audience, or a group of friends can automatically post moments from their spring break roadtrip. The possibilities are endless.
As always, if you need help posting from Instagram, or have questions about RSS Graffiti in general, please open a thread in our community support forum.
Pinterest users!! Did you know RSS Graffiti provides an easy way to automatically publish your pins to Facebook? If you’ve already installed RSS Graffiti, setup is super easy. Just follow the steps below to begin posting your pins right away:
First, open up the publishing plan dashboard and create a new publishing plan. Select your profile or the page you want to use as the target. If you run into trouble, see our getting started guide.
The next step is getting the RSS feed for your Pinterest account. To get a feed of all your pinboards, use this URL for the source: http://pinterest.com/username/feed.rss replacing “username” with your actual username. To only publish pins from one board, use this URL: http://pinterest.com/username/board.rss replacing “board” with the name of the pinboard you’d like to publish. After adding the source URL, select your preferred scheduling options and click save.
That’s all it takes. Switch on the publishing plan, and next time you pin something, RSS Graffiti will automatically push it to Facebook with a beautiful image thumbnail and a link back to your Pinterest page. So easy.
If you need help posting from Pinterest, or using RSS Graffiti in general, please open a thread in our community support forum. Someone from the team will be happy to assist :)
More great news! We no longer require links to be shortened with Bitly. If you’ve never configured custom Bitly shortening, no further action is need. All your links will now be posted to Facebook in their full, unshortened form.
If you’ve previously added a custom Bitly account to track your clicks, shortening will continue to work normally.
Need help? As always, please point your questions to our Community Support Forum: http://getsatisfaction.com/rssgraffiti2
More great news! We now have enhanced support for HTML formatting elements. These tags are now properly rendered:
And other list types, including roman numeral and dictionary lists.
If you’ve posted something with the new formatting, we’d love to see it. Paste a link in the comments! As always, if you have any questions or need help, please open a thread in our Community Support Forum.
In addition to a few minor bug fixes, we now support the option to check your feeds less frequently than once per day. You can have RSS Graffiti update your page with content every other day, or only once per week if you prefer. This commonly requested feature allows you to slowly trickle posts onto your wall, timeline or group. Useful if you have a backlog of content and want to keep your page fresh for as long as possible!
This update also includes another often-requested feature: a modest improvement in the “As Soon as Possible” update frequency. RSS Graffiti now publishes new posts more quickly after they’ve been added to a feed.
We hope you appreciate the recent changes! If you have any feedback or need help, please open a thread in our community support forum.
Recently, Facebook changed the visual appearance of their posts in a way which causes some problems for certain configurations of RSS Graffiti. We’ve been working on a fix to address these issues, and believe we will be ready to roll it out to production on either December 26 or December 27, 2012.
The changes will affect several aspects of the way posting from RSS Graffiti works, so please double check your posts after our deployment to ensure that things are working well for you.
The Facebook changes broke us in several ways:
When using the standard post style, if your post does not contain an image, our posts will contain an empty box where the image would normally appear.
Also with the standard style, the text from your item’s description will be truncated after only a couple of lines, without any kind of “See More…” link or way to see the rest of the text.
In the compact post style, the link to the full story and the source appear in a gray box, but are shifted to the right in a way that isn’t very visually appealing.
To address these issues, we’re planning to do several things differently in the future.
#1 and #3 will simply be fixed. The extra space in both cases will be removed.
However, for #2, we’ve decided to move the description text out of the grey box, and move it up into the text preceding the box. There are several advantages to this:
We can include a larger amount of text, and if it’s too long, Facebook will include a “See More…” link allowing you to see the rest.
We can support some rudimentary text formatting. In the past, we couldn’t do any formatting at all — which would lead to long, run-on blocks of description text. With these changes, we should be able to honor line breaks appropriately.
Most users of RSS Graffiti are trying to drive additional traffic to the original link, and prefer that we automatically truncate text beyond a certain length, which forces the user to follow the link for the full article. Based on this, we’re planning to include a 250-character limit on the description, in order to help drive traffic in the way many of you have requested.
We’re planning to release these changes next week, so if you have comments or questions, please visit the GetSatisfaction thread. You can also find several example pictures with Before/After versions.
In response to user feedback, Twitter sources will be disabled tomorrow, Tuesday 10/16, instead of today’s original deadline. In case you missed the announcement, RSS Graffiti can no longer publish tweets to Facebook due to Twitter’s new API restrictions. This only affects the <2% of users who’ve added Twitter as a publishing source.
Please understand the RSS Graffiti team is still very much dedicated to helping you streamline and automate your social presence, but Twitter’s new policy has left us no legal alternative but to disable this feature. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please drop us a line in our forum: http://getsatisfaction.com/rssgraffiti2
Big update went out yesterday! This latest release included a number of improvements and bug fixes:
Live post preview is back! You can once again see how your posts will appear without actually publishing to your page.
Improved look-and-feel of standard style posts when viewed on mobile devices
Fixed iTunes podcast feeds not being published with correct links
Fixed issue where some URLs with multiple query parameters were being truncated
Fixed issue affecting users with multiple identically named targets
Fixed minor bug in the Twitter hashtag filter
Various backend performance optimizations
Also, some of you may have received an automated email from us regarding the expiration of RSS Graffiti’s publishing permissions. If you don’t access the RSS Graffiti dashboard for an extended period, the Facebook permission that lets us publish to your page can expire, and posting will cease until you revisit RSS Graffiti. All it takes for you to renew this permission is to open the publishing plan dashboard, so if you receive such an email from us, please don’t ignore it!
If you have any questions about any of these improvements, or the app in general, please open a thread in our community support forum. Remember to include the URL of the Facebook page you are publishing to, and someone from our team will be happy to assist. Thanks again for using RSS Graffiti!
RSS Graffiti is going down for scheduled maintenance Thursday, 21 June 2012 00:00:00 UTC (7PM Wednesday US Central Time). The maintenance will take several hours, during which time the dashboard will be unavailable and all publishing plans will be paused. Once the maintenance is complete, any items not posted by RSS Graffiti during the downtime will start publishing to Facebook. If you have any questions about what to expect, please drop us a line in our support forum.
This past week we rolled out a number of bug fixes and improvements. Here’s a breakdown of recent changes:
We now support feeds that contain root-relative URLs (URLs which start with a /)
Resolved an issue with videos from certain feeds not being playable inside Facebook
The minimum image size for thumbnails has been lowered to 50 pixels. Previously, images had to be at least 59 pixels wide and 59 pixels tall to be attached as a thumbnail
In response to Facebook removing their embedded mp3 player, we no longer try to add audio attachments to posts. This fixed an issue with duplicate content appearing where the player used to be. (Fear not, podcasters! We’re working on an alternative way to post your audio)
Various other minor tweaks that improve app efficiency and broaden our support for uncommon feed types
As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, complaints, or praise, please drop us a line in our forum.
Under a new Facebook policy, you must log into RSS Graffiti (or any other app) at least once every 60 days to renew its access to your profile and groups. Unless you visit the app at least this often, its authorization to publish to your profile and groups will expire. The good news is, our contact at Facebook has confirmed that access to pages can still be granted indefinitely, so if you only use RSS Graffiti to publish to pages, visit http://beta.rssgraffiti.com now and hit refresh to automatically grant RSS Graffiti a permanent access token.
Please understand the security considerations that motivated this change in Facebook’s policies; the new rules will help protect accounts from unwanted intrusion by malicious 3rd party apps. For more info from Facebook regarding the deprecation of permanent permissions, see http://developers.facebook.com/roadmap/offline-access-removal and if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions about this new policy, please reach out to us via http://getsatisfaction.com/rssgraffiti2
The RSS Graffiti 2.0 servers are now posting more than 20 pieces of content to Facebook every second. Pretty impressive, right? Aside from the shiny new UI, version 2.0 should behave almost exactly like 1.9 for the vast majority of users. If you think you’ve found a bug we missed, please let us know! When reporting an issue to our community support forum be sure to mention any errors displayed in your RSS Graffiti activity log, accessed via the bar graph icon at the top right of each publishing plan. Until we integrate version 2.0 into the Facebook application canvas (our next priority), your RSS Graffiti settings can be configured off-site at beta.rssgraffiti.com. The RSS Graffiti team truly appreciates the support from everyone who has given us feedback during the upgrade process. The best is yet to come!
As promised, RSS Graffiti 2.0 is now available to everyone. To upgrade your account, visit http://apps.facebook.com/rssgraffiti and click OK!
IMPORTANT: After you upgrade, any permissions errors shown on the 1.9 application canvas can be safely ignored. Your feeds will be configurable at http://beta.rssgraffiti.com until after the upgrade is complete for all users.
ALSO IMPORTANT: The rssgraffiti.com support docs are currently inaccessible. If you need assistance, please open a thread in our community support forum.
Next week, RSS Graffiti 2.0 will be available to all users
In response to Facebook rolling out the “enhanced” permissions dialogue (the cause of the “Allow Publishing: Pending” error) to all new pages, starting next week all users will be offered the option to upgrade to RSS Graffiti 2.0, which contains a fix for this problem. The option to upgrade will be accessible in the 1.9 application, and we’ll post another announcement next week when it’s actually deployed.
It is important to note that when you upgrade, any pages or groups you co-administrate will not be configurable by the other admins until they too upgrade to 2.0. Therefore, make sure to communicate with your fellow admins before you make the switch.
Today, we will begin automatically upgrading users to RSS Graffiti 2.0. You will no longer have the option to delay the switch. If you receive an app notification or email from us, it means you and your targets have already been upgraded, and you can configure your publishing settings at http://beta.rssgraffiti.com/
This should come as great news for anyone experiencing the “endless permissions loop” error, as this has been fixed in the new version. It will take a few weeks to get everyone upgraded, so if you’re seeing this error and haven’t yet received an upgrade notice, please be patient! Have any questions, comments or concerns? Open a thread in our community forum at http://getsatisfaction.com/rssgraffiti2 and someone from our team will assist.
Starting this week, users who don’t have any shared targets are being upgraded to 2.0. If you are in this upgrade batch, you’ll be shown the invitation next time you access the app. Please note that the upgrade is no longer optional. From now on, if you have been sent an invite, you will only be able to configure your feeds using beta.rssgraffiti.com
Regarding the permissions-granting issue: Facebook recently began implementing an “enhanced” authorization dialog to about 5-10% of users. The problem was that the main permission we were requesting which allowed us to publish to fan pages was silently not being granted. To resolve this, we had to revise some of our publishing code to use a different permission, which required a few days to complete.
The fix is complete, and 2.0 users should now be able to publish to fan pages without the “endless permissions loop” problem. For those still on 1.9.6, bear with us! We want to be as thorough as possible in the upgrade process to make absolutely sure no one’s publishing is interrupted. We apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience and feedback in helping us resolve this frustrating bug!
Procrastinators! Ready or not, Facebook is switching all pages to timeline tomorrow (March 30th). Since a few of you asked, we want to assure everyone that RSS Graffiti is compatible with timeline, so feel free to make the switch before the deadline.
Keep in mind posts will be placed on the timeline according to when RSS Graffiti published them, not when they were originally written. If you’ve used the app to publish articles from the past, you may want to manually change the date of these posts in Facebook so they appear at the appropriate point on your timeline. Now get to it!
Regarding the outstanding permission-granting issue: If you are part of the small percentage of users who can’t grant publishing permissions to RSS Graffiti, please be patient while we work on a solution. We’ll make an announcement soon with an update on the status of the fix. -Seth
In February we announced RSS Graffiti 2.0 was going to be rolled out slowly in preparation for a global release. We are happy to report the initial beta period was a success, and so far we have received an overwhelmingly positive response from beta testers using the new version.
This week we will open up RSS Graffiti 2.0 to another batch of existing users, chosen based on how they use the application. At this stage the upgrade will be available on a purely opt-in basis. The purpose of this gradual roll-out is to ensure that everyone’s feeds continue to publish without interruption. Once we are confident these users have been upgraded successfully, a much larger batch of users will be migrated to 2.0.
We will eventually require all remaining 1.9.6 users to upgrade. It will be worth the wait; RSS Graffiti 2.0 offers improvements that will expand the power and usability of the application. With this release you can expect an increase in speed and greater control over how & where your feeds are published.
Have questions? if you’re already using RSS Graffiti 2.0, we set up a new GetSatisfaction community support forum to help with any 2.0-specific issues you might encounter. Rest assured, we will continue to support users on 1.9.6 until the migration is complete. If you are using 1.9.6, you can always find help on our 1.9 forum.
We have some big news to share: This month we will be rolling out RSS Graffiti 2.0. This will be a major update, containing improvements that will expand the power and usability of the application. With this release you can expect an increase in speed and greater control over how & where your feeds are published. The RSS Graffiti team has been hard at work on this update, and when you see what’s in store, we think you’ll be just as excited as we are.
We will begin rolling out RSS Graffiti 2.0 on a purely opt-in basis, during which time users can continue using 1.9.6 if they so desire. If you have any questions about the coming 2.0 update, please leave a comment on this post. As always, if you are having any trouble using the application, direct your support questions to our GetSatisfaction.com forum.
We’ve been using this blog mostly to talk about milestones. We can’t help it! It’s been such a crazy ride! Monthly active users are up to 1.300.000 already; total installed users are over 600.000 by now! Exciting stuff!
But here is one more new milestone that makes this ride amazing and goes beyond anything we could plan or hope for a few months ago!
Today, we announced that we have agreed to be purchased by Demand Media, one of the most innovative media companies around.
For us, this is great news, but if you’re wondering what this means for you, then this means that you will be getting more, faster.
If you like RSS Graffiti, you’ll love what we have been working on in the past several months. It’s going to be beyond cool! It’s beyond what’s out there today and beyond what me and Dimitris would ever be able to tackle on our own. Our friends at Demand Media are here with us today, rolling up their sleeves and working with us to build what we believe will be one of the best applications on the market for Facebook publishers. You’ll see lots of features we have been discussing with you rolling out much faster, plus more new exciting stuff that we will be unveiling in the coming months.
And there is more!
Dimitris and I will be remaining here in Luxembourg, working on the next version of the RSS Graffiti together with Demand Media and our U.S. based team.
This looks so promising!
Thanks again for sticking with us on this wild ride! We are looking forward to sharing more of our milestones with you in the future.
RSS Graffiti seems to be steadily doubling in size about every four months. We just passed the 300.000 active walls milestone. One third of those users joined us in the last three months. We are pretty excited about it! On the same day, today, we also passed the 1.000.000 MAU (monthly active users) milestone.
Ok; numbers are boring. But not when they mark milestones!
Talking about milestones, we crossed one more important milestone in RSS Graffiti today. But more on that, to come soon. Stay tuned!
Just another 4 months after crossing the 100.000 active walls milestone, RSS Graffiti is doubling in size again: 200.000 Facebook Walls are now actively using RSS Graffiti to publish their updates to Facebook.
It’s even more amazing considering that just 8 months ago we crossed the 50.000 active walls milestone: 4X growth in 8 months. Add to that that CNN uses RSS Graffiti to publish it’s Breaking News on Facebook and you pretty much understand how overwhelming this growth feels to us.
The horizontal axis in the chart above counts the number of days since RSS Graffiti first launched on Facebook.The vertical axis counts the number of active Facebook Walls. By the way: we made this chart using the Google Chart API, which is kinda cool. Praise Google if you can see it or blame it if you can’t.
Here is how we count growth in RSS Graffiti: People usually on Facebook count the number of Monthly Active Users (MAU). Facebook itself keeps track of this metric. RSS Graffiti currently has about 550.000 MAU. But that’s doesn’t matter too much for RSS Graffiti because it counts the number of Facebook users that get to interact with the application every month by either visiting its canvas page, or the application tab or use it to publish something on Facebook. It’s a good metric for games in Facebook for instance but not for apps like RSS Graffiti. What matters to us the most, is how many of the roughly 440.000 Facebook Walls on which RSS Graffiti is currently added, [how many of them] actually use the application to publish something every day. So we count how many of these walls actually have active feeds added to them and we call these walls “Active Walls”. And that’s what makes 200.000 Active Walls quite impressive.
Now we don’t want you to think that we wrote this whole story just to impress you (although it always feels nice to impress people). We write this to also share our deep appreciation for your support and to also thank you for all the motivation you provide us with, by using and spreading our application. Thank you!
Twenty ten was for us an exciting year. Although we didn’t actually do all the things we wanted to do during the year, we worked hard to evolve RSS Graffiti and we did watch it grow beyond our initial expectations.
As we enter 2011, 163.000 Facebook Walls actively use RSS Graffiti. Compared to the 7.000 active walls at the end of 2009, RSS Graffiti has seen a 20 fold increase during 2010.
What’s more impressive for us, is that over 100.000 of these walls belong to Fan Pages, which means that roughly 100.000 different brands actively use RSS Graffiti today to bring their news to Facebook. Among them we were happy to discover prominent brands like CNN and MTV or popular blogs like Engadget and Gizmondo.
Part of last year’s excitement also came from RSS Graffiti’s nomination as one of the five finalists for the “Best Social Media Service for Small Business” Award in the 4th Annual Mashable Awards. We didn’t get to win the award at the end, but the support from our users was overwhelming and very important for us.
During Q4 2010 we have been working hard to prepare our next major release, RSS Graffiti version 2.0, which we plan to launch in the coming weeks. Evolving an idea into a service is quite a challenge, especially when it’s being built on a rapidly evolving platform like the Facebook Platform.
Twenty-ten was also full of lessons learned and left quite a legacy for us to build upon; especially this amazing user-base that has developed during the past year. We are thankful for your support and we will keep doing our best to honor it.
We just released RSS Graffiti version 1.9.5 Beta. This version has heavy updates in the back-end but no visible changes in the user interface.
In a nut-shell, RSS Graffiti 1.9.5 Beta:
is more stable,
is more scalable,
is a precursor to RSS Graffiti 2.0 and runs on its new back-end,
is not a feature release.
In more detail:
The processing engine now has a different architecture with improved scalability, flexibility and processing speed. This will allow RSS Graffiti to be less affected by the fast pace of growth of its user base and be able to adjust to increased demand faster.
This new engine also incorporates most of the changes that we had been working on for our next major release planned for January 2011. We are releasing these updates as we prepare for the release of version 2.0 to ease the transition and also have a better chance to monitor the new engine in real life scenarios before everything starts depending on it.
This release also coincides with an upgrade in infrastructure. The new hardware we are running on is also key to the flexibility and scalability we were recently seeking but it is also a much needed upgrade as stress on our previous infrastructure has lately caused a number of unexpected outages. The new server currently need less than 7% of their capacity to do the same job our previous infrastructure was doing running at 60% of its capacity.
As a result we decreased the minimum processing interval back to 10 minutes.
Our plans are to keep working on RSS Graffiti 2.0 and release it as soon as possible, in January 2011.
While preparing for launching RSS Graffiti version 2.0 in January, we will be making an intermediate release today.
Although tonight’s release will be bringing RSS Graffiti very close to version 2.0, you will neither notice any differences in the user interface, nor will you be getting any new features tonight.
So here are the important things that we will be deploying tonight:
Pack-up all the updates and hot-fixes we had deployed since version 1.9.0 Beta into a single release.
Adjust the RSS Graffiti’s database and code-base to run with our new processing engine.
Deploy more new servers to cope with the increased demand.
The past few weeks we repeatedly run into server issues due to heavy load as another 50.000 active walls have been added to our systems during the past two months, bringing the total number of Facebook Walls on which RSS Graffiti is publishing today to 150.000 and the number of feeds being published on those walls to 240.000. That’s a big number of walls and feeds to check and publish every few minutes.
To allow our servers to cope with their workload we increased a few days ago the minimum waiting time in the processing queue to 15 minutes (from 10 minutes). This means that no target is currently processed more often than 4 times per hour which in turn takes some load off of our current servers.
We have been preparing and testing our new servers for the past couple of weeks and we will be switching to them tonight during the new release.
We are going to do our best to minimize the down-time during this release. So, talk to you later!
We’ve been quiet for a while working for our next milestone. Our last release was in early August. That was version 1.9.0 Beta, in which we had packed a lot of new features. Since then, RSS Graffiti has doubled its user base yet again in less than four months. We were publishing on 70.000 active walls back in August 2010. Now we are publishing in over 140.000 walls and expect to grow over 160.000 active walls by the end of the year.
So here is what lays ahead in our plans. We have been working on RSS Graffiti version 2.0. So, the next release is planned to be a major one. Our effort was to finalize it before the end of 2010 but we decided to postpone the release until after Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Before releasing RSS Graffiti 2.0 we plan to do two or three intermediate releases during the next three weeks. These will prepare our systems for the release of version 2.0. During this time we will also be changing the architecture in our data center and add more servers at the same time so that it can handle the growth of our user-base.
I didn’t give you any details on what the core of RSS Graffiti 2.0 will be but I did that on purpose. All I’ll tell you for now, is that it’s going to be just one new feature, but a very important one. If everything goes well with this release we will be able to shift our focus on a number of other features and improvements we have been requested by many of you and hopefully establish RSS Graffiti as a leading service in its space.
Hang on and wish us luck! We are grateful for your warm support!
“RSS Graffiti just passed 100.000 targets!”—Just 4 months after crossing the 50.000 active targets (Facebook walls) milestone, RSS Graffiti doubles in size again. Today it publishes over 170.000 feeds on the walls of (roughly) 27.000 Profiles, 65.000 Fan Pages, 8.000 Groups, 800 Applications and 100 Events across Facebook!
Facebook Groups can now publish on their own wall [NEW]
RSS Graffiti was possibly the first application to support publishing of RSS/Atom feeds on Facebook Groups early this year. Nevertheless as our users know, unlike Fan Pages, Facebook Groups could not write on their own wall so the identity of a user was always used to publish all posts.
Well, not anymore!
RSS Graffiti 1.9.0.x Beta allows you to use the Group’s identity to publish on the Group’s wall just as you do with your Fan Pages.
Apart from a cool feature to have this feature will also have a positive impact on the known Facebook limits imposed to Facebook Users (the well known and notorious Facebook Error 341 “feed request limit exceeded”). Since you will no longer have to use your own identity to publish on your Groups, you are going to be saving on your limit, so it will also be less likely that you hit the limit.
So how do you set this up?
Piece of cake! We have a new feature we call "Publish on behalf of". So go to RSS Graffiti App, select your Facebook Group’s tab on the left-hand column, open the feed you want to edit and click on the "More" Tab in the editor. You’ll find the “Publish on behalf of” setting there.
In the drop-down you can choose to publish on behalf of yourself, or on behalf of the Group itself. That’s it. Save the Feed and you are done. Next time the Group’s feeds are processed posts will be made using the Group’s identity (assuming you selected it in the drop-down of course).
We just released the latest version of RSS Graffiti. which apart from a lot of excitement (at least to us as developers), brings on some interesting features that are quite new (and possibly still unique) in Facebook.
We’ll give you a short intro on what’s in this new version and we will follow up with a more extensive feature list and more details on specific features.
Publish on Application Profile's wall.
Publish on your Event Page’s wall.
“Publish on behalf of" (this can be huge).
Twitter oAuth safely connects your twitter accounts.
Auto discover and post pictures from Tweets posted via: TwitPic, TweetPhoto, PikChur, TwitGoo, YFrog and PickTor.
Auto-convert links in Tweets to Facebook Post Attachments.
Auto-exclude Tweets sent by Facebook’s Twitter app.
Twitter and Bit.ly accounts are now per user rather than per target (wall).
Add multiple Twitter and Bit.ly accounts once, use them everywhere.
Choose Twitter / Bit.ly accounts per feed or per target. Mix them as you like.
New Application Settings tab for managing global settings.
Revamped Feed Editors.
Limit the number of posts per cycle at the feed and the page level.
Customizable Source URL in Feeds.
Simplified permissions management.
All links posted to Facebook are now shortened with Bit.ly.
Ability to temporarily pause/resume publishing an entire wall or specific feeds.
Improved handling of Business Accounts.
Numerous bug fixes & performance optimizations
Lot’s of other small stuff that make RSS Graffiti shine under the hood as it glooms (*wishful thinking*) from the outside ;-)
There are quite a lot of things still to improve and even more things that we want to add in the future. We are already aware of a number of small annoyances here and there and we will be working in the coming days to iron them out. But we have put a lot of hard work in this version and really couldn’t wait any longer before we shared it with you. So please keep you feedback coming. Our goal now is to do frequent small releases to fix all pending issues of this release and then move on to greater goals.
For a long time, almost every application developer on Facebook was looking for a way to push RSS Feeds on their Facebook Application Profile Pages. We’ve been looking for ways to implement this for a long time too, but finally we have the solution built in RSS Graffiti 1.9.0 Beta.
We are so excited about it, we are writing this first blog post right after the release of RSS Graffiti 1.9.0 Beta, just to see this blog post get picked-up and posted on our wall!
“RSS Graffiti has just passed 50.000 targets!”—RSS Graffiti launched 8 months ago. Today it serves over 12.000 Facebook Profiles, over 32.000 Fan Pages and over 4.000 Facebook Groups, publishing on them stories from 85.000 feeds every 5-6 minutes!
We just released version 1.8.5 Beta of RSS Graffiti.
The focus of this version was the processing engine. What was wrong with it? It inexplicably slow.
RSS Graffiti started on September 2009 and has been working like a charm since then. Of course there are always things to improve or problems to solve. But mostly everything was smooth as far as the application itself was concerned. Until, one day, growth caught up with us. Since the beginning we had set the background processing engine to adjust its performance automatically so that all feeds are processed every 10 minutes. That seemed like a reasonable number given the circumstances.
But since RSS Graffiti has been doubling its users every month or so, at some point we realized that the processing engine could not keep up, So the 10 minute update cycle started getting bigger and bigger. On the 1st of December 2009, RSS Graffiti processing engine was running at 10 minute cycles and was processing all the 5.000 active targets (roughly 8.000 feeds) that were using the application at that time. (In RSS Graffiti terminology a “target” is the equivalent of a “wall” in Facebook).
By the end of 2009 the active targets were 7.000 and the processing cycle had climbed up to 20 minutes. This did not make much sense. We tried to adjust the various settings we had in place for that but it was obvious there was a bottleneck somewhere. Christmas holidays setback any efforts for 3 weeks and by the end of January 2010 RSS Graffiti has grown to 13.000 active targets (over 20.000 feeds). Processing cycle had climbed up to 40 minutes. 40 minutes was still much less than the usual hourly checks other similar applications do, but still it was way to far from our 10 minute goal.
We had to do something about it fast. It has been months since we were discussing improvements on the processing engine but we now had to go about them fast and figure out where the bottleneck was.
To cut a long story short, the problem was in the database server. We tried quite a few tricks for 6 days (nights actually) and we came up with a solution that was released today in version 1.8.5 Beta.
Processing cycle is now back down to 4 minutes and we know we can maintain our 10 minute performance goal without adding any new hardware until RSS Graffiti reaches roughly 50.000 active targets. After that our current hardware will run out of capacity, but don’t fear. The application is designed to run on an infinite number of servers which can simply be added to the data center and just play. We estimate that if we don’t do any further performance optimizations in the processing engine we will need a server for every 50.000 active targets.
So, for the moment this issue seems to be behind us. It’s now time to focus on more exciting things! We will first fix some pending issues that have been reported by our users in the past weeks. Then we move on to add a Facebook Tab feature to RSS Graffiti. We really have big expectations from the RSS Graffiti tab and we are eager to start working on it. But we will talk about these plans as the time comes.
As we recently discovered the hard way (reading complaints of RSS Graffiti users), Facebook has changed its policy about Story Action Links to the stricter.
In short, only one custom Action Link is now allowed to be added to each story published on a wall and it can be up to 25 characters long in text. Any further Action Links submitted by applications will be ignored. This is applied immediately and is effective for all Stream Stories, new and old ones. Any previous stories published by applications will only show one Action Link, (whichever was first in the list), regardless of how many where originally included and there is no way to change that. Furthermore application developers are advised not to try to add further action links within the body or title part of stories.
We were a bit surprised to discover this change because if there was any announcement on this change we certainly must have missed it. It sure affects most Facebook applications possibly much more than it affects RSS Graffiti.
After this change, we did not have much choice left for RSS Graffiti. We had to choose between “Share” and “Full Story” as our one and only custom Action Link. And since there was already a way to direct the users to the full story by clicking on the story’s title or thumbnail, we picked “Share”. By the way we really do believe that a “Share” action link should have be added by Facebook together with the Like/Unlike action links and we really do look forward for Facebook to natively supporting this feature.
Unfortunately there is nothing we can do about the stories already posted, because we had submitted “Share” as the last Action Link, to make it more prominent. This link has now disappeared after this Facebook policy update.
Following you can find a short description of the new Action Links policy on Facebook as it appears on the developers WiKi…
We are setting up the team blog of RSS Graffiti. Adding Disqus comments and Get Satisfaction widgets.
The plan is talk about the RSS Graffiti team adventures here and share whatever other useful but relevant thing we come about while developing this application and trying to turn into something useful for everybody.