— @RSSGraffiti

Posted 1 day ago
by rousso

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200.000 Active Walls & counting

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.

Growth of RSSGraffiti

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.

Footnote

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!

Posted 1 month ago
by rousso

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A quick look back at 2010

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.

Happy New Year!

Posted 2 months ago
by rousso

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RSS Graffiti 1.9.5 Beta released

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 faster,
  • 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. 

Posted 2 months ago
by rousso

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Upcoming release tonight

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! 

Posted 2 months ago
by rousso

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The road ahead

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!

Posted 4 months ago
by rousso

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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! 

Posted 6 months ago
by rousso

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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).

Enjoy!

Posted 6 months ago
by rousso

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RSS Graffiti 1.9.0 Beta released

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.

Thankful for your support,
The RSS Graffiti Team

Posted 7 months ago
by rousso

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Publish on Facebook Application Profiles

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!

Posted 8 months ago
by rousso

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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!