Facebook Provides RSS Feeds Of Latest Friends’ News

By August 15, 20076 Comments

Technology news blog TechCrunch reported yesterday that the popular social networking site, Facebook has started providing RSS feeds of the latest news feature, that was previously available only to users once they logged in.

News feeds on Facebook allow users to view changes and additions on their friends’ profiles without needing to actually visit their friends’ profile pages. These feeds include new photos and notes added on a friends profile, new groups they’ve joined and new friends they’ve made.

Facebook News Feed for friends

Information viewed by users in the latest news feeds is automatically limited to the items that the friend shares with the user and was kept within Facebook, so that only logged in users could view them.

Privacy Issues Bound To Arise

With the availability of RSS feeds of the latest friends’ news, Internet users who are not logged into Facebook will also be able to view latest profile updates of a users friends if the user chooses to share that feed or syndicate that information on another public profile, which could of course give rise to a whole lot of privacy issues in the future. ZDNet have blogged about the privacy problems in a bit more detail on their article “Has Facebook abandoned privacy?

For example, a user could choose to publish their Facebook news feed on their own website, and this would allow all their site visitors to see photographs and information the users friends might share with them, not realising that the rest of the world could potentially see the same images and details.

Facebook For iPhone

On a slightly different note, Facebook have also announced today that the popular social networking site will now also be made available to iPhone users via a dedicated website:

iphone.facebook.com

6 Comments

  • Ajay Tallam says:

    Am I missing something or was this feature taken out after (from what this article says) being added.
    In other words, there is currently no possibility of getting the “news Feed” via RSS. (I see many search hits that seem to mirror this sentiment..) just let me know if I’m wrong is all, thanks/ta! -@
    (and no, I couldn’t get the parser hack to work either! Alas.. 🙁 )

  • AccuraCast says:

    Hi Ajay,
    The news feed within Facebook is implemented using RSS technology. This does not mean that you can find just any feed and syndicate it outside Facebook (at present). But should users, companies, bands etc choose to allow it this can happen in the not too distant future.