Why Facebook removed the ability to post on friends walls via Graph API

Facebook has disabled at the beginning of February 2013 the ability to post on friends wall through the Graph API. Here is the official announcement:

We will remove the ability to post to a user’s friends’ walls via the Graph API. Specifically, posts against [user_id]/feed where [user_id] is different from the session user, or stream.publish calls where the target_iduser is different from the session user, will fail. If you want to allow people to post to their friends’ timelines, invoke the feed dialog.

That method was enabling apps to present a visitor a list of his Facebook friends after he had connected with his Facebook account, select the friends the user wanted to invite, and hit a send button, and it would post the same message (that could be customized by the app admin for example) to all the selected friends.

Additionally, once a single user has given the correct permissions to a specific app, that app could post on behalf of that user, on all his friends wall, and that could be done in an automatic way. All these was generating too many abuses or pushing the invited friends to report the messages as spammy. We think that’s the major reason why Facebook has taken down that ability. And actually these new changes make sense.

So what’s now?

Now the only way to invite a friend is by using the Facebook Feed dialog. It’s not possible anymore to have an automatic system. The user need to manually invite each friend one by one. The user also has to define himself the message that he wants to post of his friends wall. The apps or plugins just have the ability to define the link and picture that can be posted with the message.

We just released our new WordPress plugin Facebook Friends Inviter that’s based on the latest Facebook updates. You can check a demo on this page and try it out for yourself. And our standalone version of the Friends Inviter should be available soon.

Facebook Friends Inviter for WordPress


So it’s still possible to have plugins and apps enabling visitors to invite their Facebook friends, it just need to be done in a whole different way. We have totally rewritten our Friends Inviter WP plugin to reflect the new changes, and have giving it the additional feature to make it work as a content locker.

We hope you’ll like it !