Facebook has apparently disabled RSS links on pages, about a year and a half after incorporating them. Although they have never been completely consistent on this issue, it is telling that this feature has been silently disabled.
Blogger Jessie Stay points out that users can no longer subscribe to someone’s Facebook Page via RSS. After nixing the feature for Profiles (meaning that one can no longer follow a friend’s profile updates via RSS), it seems that subscribing via RSS on the social network is now completely impossible. You can now only follow someone’s Page by subscribing via SMS.
Facebook quietly began to publish content via RSS early in 2010. At the time, we praised the move because it really made it useful to keep up with those pages we followed.
And yet, Facebook has always been inconsistent around the benefits of allowing users to subscribe via RSS to the site, going as far as shutting down applications that converted content from the social network into digestible streams suited for RSS.
Now it seems that RSS on Facebook is no more. While we wait on an official statement from the company, I’m going to side with Jessie Stay on the possible significance of this move.
It appears that our ability to defend and maintain open standards on the web continues to dwindle. Pulling an open protocol such as RSS off Facebook means that, as Stay explains, “only developers like myself can code anything to extract that data — the average user has no way of pulling that data out of Twitter or Facebook.”
What do you think about RSS no longer being available on Facebook pages?