Sunday, April 12, 2020

Facebook still has RSS (iCal) feed for Calendar Events but it is insanely obscure

I thought Facebook had removed the link we used to have to see the feed URL for a Facebook "calendar". (A Facebook calendar is the set of all Events one has responded to as "going" or "maybe".) I couldn't find it anywhere even though I was pretty sure I'd use it as recently as 6 months ago.

Facebook only documents exporting a calendar file. (In the mobile app there's a simpler way to add a single Event to a system calendar.)

I couldn't even find any mention online of the Facebook calendar feed. Just sad comments on Facebook's removal of RSS feeds about 7 years ago.

I was just about to give up when a last search found a Business Insider article from Dec 2019. Some Facebook dev has kept it alive in the most obscure location possible.

You can't find it by looking your Facebook Calendar: https://www.facebook.com/events/calendar
You can't see it by looking at your Facebook Events: https://www.facebook.com/events/

The only way to find them is to use the web UI and inspect the ... context menu for any single Event.

Beneath that you will see "Export Event":

Do not be deceived. Export Event is a form of misdirection.

In fact the resulting dialog, in addition to allowing saving of a single event, also provides the secret URL for a Calendar feed (RSS, iCal) including the Facebook UID and a "key" for access:

In Google Calendar web here's where that URL goes:

It can take hours for the feed content to appear and updates are likewise slow to show.

Sooner or later Facebook will expunge this last vestige of usefulness, but I do want to thank the dev that hid it away and let it survive for so long.

PS. I do appreciate so many Facebook page URLs are readable, persistent, and meaningful. I rely on that given the ever changing menu and navigation structures.

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