Netvizz

Netvizz

Netvizz is an app that helps you extract data from groups and pages on Facebook.

Last modified: 13.04.2015

In principle, anyone with sufficient programming skills can create an app that pulls data from Facebook's API. Using the Facebook API means to export publicly available data from Facebook in a systematic way - within the framework that Facebook has defined. Not everyone can program their own apps, however. Fortunately there are already digital tools available for this purpose. The most prominent example is Netvizz, created by Bernard Rieder, who works on digital methods at the University of Amsterdam. Netvizz is an app like other Facebook apps, so you can find it by searching on Facebook, and then choose to become a user of it. You can then retrieve data about your personal friendship network, the groups you are a member of, and the pages you like. These data are available in two file formats: CSV files that can be opened in Excel or similar. These files include all posts and comments in a group or on a page (unless you hit the limit of 999 posts). The other export format is GEFX files, which contain network data on friendship relations and interactions with posts. These files can be opened in Gephi or similar data visualization packages. The most exciting feature for digital methods is probably the ability to export data from pages and groups, but it can be a good exercise to visualize your personal network first, if you are not already familiar with visual network analysis.