Facebook API Error Message Reference

If you receive an error message when trying to display your posts then you can use the table below to diagnose the issue and find the relevant solution.

Error Message Causes
No error, just blank space
  • You may be using a Facebook ID from a personal profile – See #1 below
  • Your post limit might be set too low – See #2 below
Error: No posts available for this Facebook ID
  • Your Facebook page may have restrictions on it – See #3 below
  • Your Facebook group may be closed or private – See #4 below
  • Your Facebook page or group may not have any posts in it – See #5 below
  • Your Facebook page might not be published – See #6 below
Error: (#803) Some of the aliases you requested do not exist:
  • The Facebook page or group ID you’re using is not correct or invalid – See #7 below
Error: (#803) Cannot query users by their username
  • You may be using a Facebook ID from a personal profile – See #1 below
Error: Invalid OAuth access token
  • Your Access Token is either incorrect, invalid or expired – See #8 below
Error: Server configuration issue
  • A PHP setting needs to be enabled on your server – See #9 below
  • A server security setting may be blocking your site from connecting to Facebook’s API – See #10 below
Error: An unknown error occurred
Error: An unexpected error has occurred. Please retry your request later.
  • You may be requesting too many posts – See #11 below
  • Facebook’s API may be temporarily down – See #12 below
Error: Unauthorized source IP address
  • Your web server’s IP address has been blacklisted by Facebook – See #14 below
Error: (#4) Application request limit reached
  • The Facebook Access Token being used has reached its API request limit – See #13 below
Error validating application. Cannot get application info due to a system error.
  • Your Access Token is either incorrect, invalid or expired – See #8 below
Error: Error validating access token: Session has expired on ____
  • You’re using a User Access Token which has expired – See #15 below

#1 – You may be using a Facebook ID from a personal profile

The easiest way to check whether you’re trying to display posts from a personal profile instead of a page or group is to view your page on Facebook and see whether you have ‘Friends’, ‘Likes’ or ‘Members’. Profiles have ‘Friends’, pages have ‘Likes’ and groups have ‘Members’. If you have ‘Friends’ then it’s not a page or a group, it’s a personal profile.

Solution:

Due to Facebook’s privacy policy you’re not able to use the plugin to display all of your posts from a personal profile, only from a public page or group, as posts from a personal profile are protected for privacy reasons. You may have limited success in displaying certain posts from a personal profile but most posts are not able to be displayed.

If you’re using the profile to represent a business, organization, product, public figure or something else other than yourself, then we’d advise converting your profile to a page per Facebook’s recommendation: http://www.facebook.com/help/175644189234902/, as there are many advantages to using pages over profiles. It is in fact against Facebook policies to use a profile to represent something other than yourself (see ‘Why should I convert my profile to a page’ in the link above).

Once you’ve converted to a page then the plugin will be able to retrieve and display all of your posts.

#2 – Your post limit might be set too low

Some posts are filtered out by the plugin as they aren’t useful, such as ‘__ commented on their own status’, or if you are choosing to only show certain post types. If the post limit isn’t high enough then there may not be any relevant posts to display.

Solution:

Try increasing the post limit on the plugin’s Settings page to be 15-20 higher than the number of posts you are trying to display. The maximum post limit you can set is 250.

#3 – Your Facebook page may have restrictions on it

The feed you’re trying to display has to be a publicly accessible page or an open group. If your page has any restrictions on it (age or location) then it means that users are forced to sign into Facebook in order to view your page. This isn’t desirable for most pages as it means that it isn’t accessible by people who don’t have a Facebook account and that your page can’t be crawled and indexed by search engines.

An easy way to determine whether your page is set to public is to make sure you’re signed out of your Facebook account and then try to visit your page. If Facebook forces you to sign in to view your page then it has a restriction on it.

Solution:

You can remove any restrictions by logging into your Facebook account and going to the Settings for your page. You can then remove any Country Restrictions and Age restrictions (see screenshot). Once removed this will allow the Custom Facebook Feed plugin to access and display your posts.

#4 – Your Facebook group may be closed or private

Facebook doesn’t allow public access to data for closed or private groups due to their privacy restrictions. The only way to display posts from a group is if it is open.

Solution:

Try changing your group settings from closed/private to ‘Open’. Please note that this will then mean that your Facebook group can be viewed by anybody, not just members of the group.

#5 – Your Facebook page or group may not have any posts in it

If your page or group is fairly new then it may not actually have an eligible posts that the plugin can display. Notifications such as ‘__ changed the cover photo’ or ‘__ created a group’ are filtered out and aren’t displayed.

Solution:

Try creating a new post on your page or in your group and then viewing the plugin’s feed again.

#6 – Your Facebook page might not be published

When creating a new Facebook page it isn’t actually published publicly until you click ‘Publish’ at the top of your page. If it isn’t published then the plugin isn’t able to retrieve your posts.

Solution:

Check the top of your page to see whether there is a ‘Publish my page’ or similar button.

#7 – The Facebook page or group ID you’re using is not correct or invalid

Follow the directions on this page carefully to ensure that you’re using the correct Facebook ID.

#8 – Your Access Token is either incorrect, invalid or expired

If you’re using your own Access Token then the easiest way to check whether it works is to test it on the Demo page. Simply check the option which says ‘Test my Access Token’ and paste it in to see whether or not it’s valid. There’s no need to set a Page ID when testing as it will just use the default Page ID which is hard coded into the demo. If you don’t see any posts then your Access Token isn’t valid.

Solution:

You don’t actually need your own Access Token in order to use the plugin, so try unchecking the Use my own Access Token setting and just using the token that’s built into the plugin.

#9 – A PHP setting needs to be enabled on your server

In order to retrieve your posts from Facebook the plugin requires a few basic PHP modules which are enabled on the majority of web servers by default. If these are disabled on your web server then it may be the cause of the problem. You can check this by going to the plugin’s Settings page, clicking on the Support tab and then scrolling down to your System Info section. In the section labeled ## SITE/SERVER INFO: ## you should see the three items highlighted below.

system-info-2

Solution:

If JSON is marked as No, then this means that JSON isn’t running on your website server. You should contact your web host to request that they turn this on as it is required in order to use this plugin and many others.

If both PHP allow_url_fopen and PHP cURL are marked as No then it means that both of these PHP extensions are disabled in your server’s php.ini file.  If you are familiar with editing this file then you can enable one or both of them yourself, otherwise it’s recommended that you contact your web host and request that they enable one or both of these extensions on your server.

If only one of either PHP allow_url_fopen or PHP cURL is marked as No then the plugin should still function as expected.

PHP Standalone Version

In the PHP Standalone version you need to open the fbfeed-settings.php file and uncomment the line at the bottom of the file which says // cff_system_info();. Once this line is uncommented then it will call the cff_system_info function which displays your system info at the top of your webpage when you view the feed:

Uncommenting the system info function in the PHP Standalone version

System Info displayed at the top of the webpage in the Standalone version

#10 – A server security setting may be blocking your site from connecting to Facebook’s API

If you’ve gone through the troubleshooting steps above and your Facebook Page ID works in the demo then there may be an issue with your site connecting to the Facebook API. This is usually caused by a security setting on your website’s server and can be remedied by your hosting support team. Please see this FAQ for more information and steps on how to solve this.

#11 – You may be requesting too many posts

If you request too much data from Facebook’s API then it will occasionally send back an ‘unknown error’ message. Facebook has certain limitations on it’s API and doesn’t allow you to retrieve too much data in one request and put too much load on their servers.

Solution:

If you’re requesting a high number of posts or have the post limit set very high then try reducing the post limit. You can do this via the ‘Change the Post Limit’ setting on the plugin’s Settings page.

#12 – Facebook’s API may be temporarily down

Facebook’s API may be unreachable temporarily. Try waiting a few minutes and then trying again. You can clear the plugin cache and force the plugin to check the Facebook API again by clicking the ‘Save Changes’ button on the plugin’s Settings page.

#13 – Facebook Access Token issue

The Facebook Access Token built into the plugin may have reached it’s temporary API request limit. This is usually a temporary issue.

Please note: This is currently a known issue in versions 2.3.1 and below of the Pro version of the Custom Facebook Feed WordPress plugin. If you’re experiencing this issue then please update the plugin to the latest version manually by following the directions here.

#14 – Unauthorized source IP address

This error message means that your web server’s IP address has been blacklisted by Facebook, most likely because someone else using the same IP address has violated the Facebook Terms of Service. If you’re on a budget web hosting plan then you most likely share your web server with hundreds, if not thousands, of other websites. As you all share the same IP address then if one of those website’s has the IP address blacklisted/blocked by Facebook then all of the websites on the server are also blocked. The only way around this is to contact your web hosting company and ask them to either change your IP address or move you to a different web server.

#15 – User Access Token expired

To get a new User Access Token simply enter your existing User Access Token, your App ID and your App Secret (from when you set up your Facebook App) into the fields at the bottom of this page.

 

If you’re still having trouble displaying your posts after trying the common issues above then please contact support for assistance.