Automatically back up your Facebook Status Updates

[update below about Facebook app that shows old status updates]

I like the idea of using my Facebook Status Updates as a miniature journal, but unless you want to copy and paste them out, it’s tough to archive them. Until now! You can now automatically get every status update emailed to you for easy backup with a few semi-easy steps.

1. Find the RSS feed address for your status updates. This is the hardest part. This url will be something along the lines of[your_id]&viewer=[your_id]&key=[special_key]&format=rss20

For some reason, Facebook is constantly trying to keep people from finding this information, but this blog has up-to-date instructions for getting this address. Basically you find the “notifications” rss url, then change the filename from “notifications.php” to “status.php”.

If you have a Facebook ID larger than 1 billion (what, you weren’t one of the first billion people who signed up on Facebook?) this solution generally doesn’t work. Instead, you can have a friend create a new friend list with just you in it, then find the RSS feed for status updates for his friends in that list.

The friend will need to go to his Notes application ( ) click on the “My Friends’ Notes” link on the right and replace “friends_notes.php?” with “friends_status.php?”. That will show all of his friends’ status updates. To show just your list’s, you have to add “&flid=[list_id]” to the url. He can find the list id by hovering over the list and copying the number that comes after “filter=flp_” — for example, in “”, the list id would be “84188095862”.

Confused yet? The final url should look like this.[his_id]&key=[his_special_key]&format=rss20&flid=[list_id]

Okay, that was a pain, but here comes the easy part.

2. Give this address to an RSS-to-Email web service. This will turn your RSS feed into a daily email to you. I recommend Feed My Inbox — it’s simple to set up and I haven’t seen any spam from them, just the email updates that I’ve requested. For easier auto-archiving once you get this into your email, you can add a bogus keyword to the email address that you give to Feed My Inbox, like this: It really works, try it!

3. (Optional) Set up a rule that automatically archives the emails from Feed My Inbox. This way you don’t have to see them every day, but you’ve got them in your archives when you want to go back and look at them.

Update: Since I originally wrote this post, I have written a Facebook app that pulls out all of your (or your friends’) recent status updates, along with giving some basic statistics about how often you add new status updates. You just copy and paste out the ones that you want to archive.   It’s called Catch Up with a Friend and can be found at   So now you’re covered going forward, and in the past.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 31st, 2009 at 2:00 pm and is filed under Programming. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

9 Responses to “Automatically back up your Facebook Status Updates”

  1. RNo Gravatar Says:

    I only get a blank canvas when trying your “Catch Up” application on Facebook.

  2. Curtis GibbyNo Gravatar Says:

    Keep trying, sometimes it takes a few times to make the application work.

  3. banglacowNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi there

    it says no status updates. Does it still work right now Mr Curtis?


  4. Curtis GibbyNo Gravatar Says:

    Yes, it’s working. On several people I just checked, I got their status updates. I looked at a person who I know doesn’t update their Facebook status, and it said no status updates for that person. So maybe the person you looked up does not have any status updates.

  5. klfNo Gravatar Says:

    Just tried and it says there are not status updates from me since 2008….(since I update daily, this isn’t correct…) help?

  6. Curtis GibbyNo Gravatar Says:

    I haven’t had any problems with the app — I don’t know what would make yours not work. Can you see other peoples’ status updates?

  7. JulieNo Gravatar Says:

    I’m getting the same “No status updates from you since August 2008” message too. I also update once a day+.

  8. JulieNo Gravatar Says:

    It also says none for my friend’s names that I searched.

  9. Curtis GibbyNo Gravatar Says:

    I don’t know what’s causing some people to get the “no status updates” message. I’ve checked again on my own profile and that of my friends and it appears to be working for me. Sorry for the problems.

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