Episode #57

Facebook Integration

12 minutes
Published on March 14, 2013

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In this episode we build on our Social App from episode 56 and add Facebook support. We cover setting up an Facebook application and the requisite permissions required to authenticate & fetch a user's friend list, all using the Social Framework in iOS 6.

Episode Links

Note - I was using a funky macro in this episode. There were 2 things I used, URLIFY to turn a string into a url, and NAVIFY to wrap a controller in a navigation controller. I'm not sure what I think about these just yet, but if you want to see them, they are in Macros.h

Requesting Access to a Facebook Account

Request access requires you to create an Facebook app first. Once you do, you'll need your App ID.

    ACAccountType *facebookAccountType = [self.accountStore accountTypeWithAccountTypeIdentifier:ACAccountTypeIdentifierFacebook];
    id options = @{
                   ACFacebookAppIdKey: @"223964394414685",
                   ACFacebookPermissionsKey: @[ @"email", @"read_friendlists"],
                   ACFacebookAudienceKey: ACFacebookAudienceFriends

Here we're requesting email and read_friendlists permissions. You need at least email, but you can add whatever you require here.

Next you need to actually request these accounts from the accountStore:

    [self.accountStore requestAccessToAccountsWithType:facebookAccountType
                                            completion:^(BOOL granted, NSError *error) {
                                                if (granted) {
                                                    ACAccount *fbAccount = [[self.accountStore accountsWithAccountType:facebookAccountType] lastObject];
                                                    [self fetchFacebookFriendsFor:fbAccount];
                                                } else {
                                                    NSLog(@"Not granted: %@", error);

Requesting the friends list

Requesting the friends list is easy, just make an authenticated request to https://graph.facebook.com/me/friends.

- (void)fetchFacebookFriendsFor:(ACAccount *)facebookAccount {
    [[UIApplication sharedApplication] setNetworkActivityIndicatorVisible:YES];
    SLRequest *friendsListRequest = [SLRequest requestForServiceType:SLServiceTypeFacebook
    friendsListRequest.account = facebookAccount;
    [friendsListRequest performRequestWithHandler:^(NSData *responseData, NSHTTPURLResponse *urlResponse, NSError *error) {
        if (responseData) {
            NSLog(@"Got a response: %@", [[NSString alloc] initWithData:responseData
            if (urlResponse.statusCode >= 200 && urlResponse.statusCode < 300) {
                NSError *jsonError = nil;
                NSDictionary *friendsListData = [NSJSONSerialization JSONObjectWithData:responseData
                if (jsonError) {
                    NSLog(@"Error parsing friends list: %@", jsonError);
                } else {
                    self.friendsList = friendsListData[@"data"];
                    dispatch_async(dispatch_get_main_queue(), ^{
                        [self.tableView reloadData];
            } else {
                NSLog(@"HTTP %d returned", urlResponse.statusCode);
        } else {
            NSLog(@"ERROR Connecting");
        dispatch_async(dispatch_get_main_queue(), ^{
            [[UIApplication sharedApplication] setNetworkActivityIndicatorVisible:NO];

Fetching images for the friends

Fetching images can be done by combining the friend's facebook id into the image url as shown here: https://graph.facebook.com/{id}/picture.

We do this in the cellForRowAtIndex: method to show the user's avatar & name on each row.

- (UITableViewCell *)tableView:(UITableView *)tableView cellForRowAtIndexPath:(NSIndexPath *)indexPath {
    static NSString *CellIdentifier = @"Cell";
    UITableViewCell *cell = [tableView dequeueReusableCellWithIdentifier:CellIdentifier forIndexPath:indexPath];

    NSDictionary *friend = self.friendsList[indexPath.row];
    NSLog(@"Friend: %@", friend);
    cell.textLabel.text = friend[@"name"];

    UIImage *defaultPhoto = [UIImage imageNamed:@"facebook_avatar.png"];
    NSString *urlString = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"https://graph.facebook.com/%@/picture", friend[@"id"]];
    NSURL *avatarUrl = URLIFY(urlString);
    [cell.imageView setImageWithURL:avatarUrl

    cell.imageView.contentMode = UIViewContentModeCenter;

    return cell;