Using the Facebook Graph API to get public posts and events from your FB Page
Note: I figured this out and it is valid as of May 20, 2020. Facebook updates their APIs often so this may get outdated quickly.
Note #2: Facebook now caps long access tokens at 90 days expiration :(
TL;DR: To get a token that doesn’t expire that has access to public posts of your own Facebook Page, follow the 2 step process here to ‘Get a Page Access Token.’
What I was trying to do: I have a website and I want a small section of it to display recent posts and upcoming events for a Facebook Page I manage. I want to be able to do this on my website without having to ask users to login. Since our page posts things publicly, this seems like it should be possible.
I already had a Facebook developer account with an app setup and previously working. Facebook changed some API permissions so your ‘App’ cannot go out and get all public posts from any page or user. To get this kind of access there is a formal application and verification process https://developers.facebook.com/docs/apps/review/feature/#reference-PAGES_ACCESS but I didn’t want to go through this and didn’t feel like I should need to, since these are public posts and I am the manager of the FB page I want to get data from.
Solution: I needed a ‘Page Access Token’
Access Token - Pages - Documentation - Facebook for Developers
This guide explains how to get User and Page access tokens. Use one of the following methods to get a short-lived User…
Unfortunately, you cannot generate one of these that does not expire directly from the Graph API Explorer.
To get one that never expires, you want a ‘Long-lived User Access Token.’ To get that, you first get a regular user access token (I generated it easily from the Graph API Explorer)
With the regular user access token, I generated a ‘Long-lived User Access Token.’ I used Postman
That will return a response with ‘access_token’ in it. Use that value in the next step:
Then, you will get another token response, but it won’t expire!
Once I did this 3 step process, I had a ‘page access token’ that doesn’t expire. I was able to confirm that it didn’t expire on the Token Debugger website.
You’re all set!
What didn’t work: I originally (a few years ago up til last year) was using my App token (it’s shorter and looks like 1234567890|qwertyuiopasdfg ) , and that was able to get the data I needed without expiring.
When that part of the API broke, I was able to generate a token using the Graph explorer with the new permissions required. However, that expired in an hour. I needed a way to have a token that doesn’t expire that I could leave on my web app
Facebook Token Debugger: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/debug/accesstoken/ see what a given token has access to, and when it expires
Facebook Graph API Explorer: https://developers.facebook.com/tools/explorer/ generate tokens and test queries
Postman: tool for testing API queries, here is a Postman-export of the two queries I used https://gist.github.com/madmaxlax/e73aac5e7f4cf9c89f3e0688d98f58c3