Import from Facebook


You can import posts and comments from Facebook User, Page, or Group walls that you have collected with NCapture.

What do you want to do?



Facebook posts and comments can be captured and imported into NVivo. Before you can import Facebook content into NVivo, you first need to have captured it with NCapture.

Your default view in Facebook is usually the News Feed which you can capture only as a PDF. If you display wall posts for a user, page or group, you can capture the content as a dataset. This becomes a dataset source in NVivo that you can sort, filter or auto code. Where available, information about the author of the post or comment—for example, Gender and Location—is also included.

NCapture is a web browser extension that enables you to gather material from the web to import into NVivo 10 (or later). NCapture may have been installed together with NVivo on your computer.

For information about capturing content from Facebook, refer to the NCapture Help.

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Import from Facebook

The steps below describe what happens when you import Facebook data that you captured as a dataset. If you captured Facebook posts as a PDF, then refer to Import web pages.

  1. On the External Data tab, in the Import group, click From Other Sources, and then click From NCapture.

The Import from NCapture dialog box opens displaying the default folder location and any NCapture files that are stored at that location. If you want, you can import NCapture files from a different location—click Browse, and then change the folder location.

  1. Select one of the following options:

  • All captures not previously imported  Selects all NCapture files in the current location that have not been previously imported into your project.

  • All captures  Selects all NCapture files in the current location.

  • Selected captures  Allows you to choose which NCapture files you want to import. Select or clear the check boxes as required.

  1. Click Import. The NCapture files are imported into the current folder location in your project.

NOTE  If the Merge matching social media datasets (including previously imported) check box is selected, any matching Facebook datasets are merged together. Facebook datasets are considered to be matching if they contain wall posts for the same User, Page, or Group. Matching datasets do not need to have the same Source Name. Refer to Approaches to analyzing Facebook data (Gather Facebook data over time) for more information.

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How can I use Facebook in my research?

Here are some ideas for using Facebook in your research. You can:

  • Join Facebook Groups that are relevant to your research.

  • Analyze content across a number of Groups.

  • Create your own Page or Group on Facebook and invite others to participate in conversations.

  • Recruit volunteers to participate in online surveys.

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Understand how posts are imported as datasets

You can import Facebook data as a new dataset or merge the data into an existing dataset based on the same user, page or group. If you have not previously imported similar Facebook data, or do not choose to merge matching social media datasets when you import the data, then a new dataset is created.

Information you provided at the time of capture is imported as follows:

  • Your description becomes the description of the dataset

  • Your memo becomes a memo linked to the dataset (when you merge matching datasets, memo content is merged too)

If you specified nodes at the time of capture, these nodes are created (unless they already exist) and the entire dataset is coded at these nodes. Refer to About coding (Coding entire sources to a node) for more information.

Any hyperlinks from the posts are retained in the source and you can click on a hyperlink to follow it.  Some hyperlinks may not work—for example, if you do not have access to the hyperlink destination.

Photos that have been made public (for example, on a Page wall) are imported into NVivo as separate picture source files, and stored in a folder at the same location as the Facebook dataset. The dataset contains a source shortcut that links to the picture. Refer to Learn about datasets that contain source shortcuts for more information.

The dataset is automatically classified with the source classification 'Reference'. Information (metadata)—for example, URL and Access Date—is stored as attribute values for the source.

By default, biographical information (for example, Gender and Location) about each user will be imported together with the posts, unless you change your preferences in Project Properties to exclude some or all of the fields—refer to Approaches to analyzing Facebook data (Exclude biographical information when you import the data).

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