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Harness the Scripting Power of PHP and cURL to Update Facebook - Page 2

by: PHP Builder Staff
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February 15, 2011

Update Your Facebook Status with PHP and cURL

Let's move on by updating our Facebook status. We are going to use a very cool script to update our Facebook status. What we are going to need to do to get it to work properly is log in to Facebook, update our status, and then log out. We are going to handle all of this with cURL in four steps.
Let's set up the basics. We'll need to know our Facebook email address, password, and the status we want to post. Of course we can post the status from a form if we want to be fancy.
<?php

$status = 'Hello Facebook!'; $email = 'myemail@facebook.com'; $pass = 'mypassword';
Log in to Facebook:
$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_COOKIEJAR, "mycookie.txt"); 
// Fake your cookie collection curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, "Mozilla/5.0");
// Fake your browser curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL,"http://m.facebook.com/");
// Tell CURL where we are going curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
// Tell CURL to return whatever comes back $fbhome = curl_exec ($ch);
// Execute! preg_match("/<form method=\"post\" action=\"(.*)\">/U", $fbhome, $formaction);
// find the form on the page urlencode(preg_match("/<input type=\"hidden\" name=\"charset_test\" value=\"(.*)\" \/>/U", $fbhome, $chartest)); preg_match("/<input type=\"hidden\" name=\"post_form_id\" value=\"(.*)\" \/>/U", $fbhome, $formid); curl_close ($ch);
// Kill the login part of the CURL session unset($ch); $ch = curl_init(); // Start a NEW CURL SESSION curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_COOKIEFILE, "mycookie.txt");
// Fake the cookie collection curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_COOKIEJAR, "mycookie.txt");
// Fake the cookie file curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, "Mozilla/5.0");
// Fake the browser curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $formaction[1]);
// POST THE FORM curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
// Set the method to POST curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, 1); curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1); curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, "post_form_id=".$formid[1]."charset_test=".$chartest[1]."&email=$email&pass=$pass&login=Log+in");
// Add some fields to the form. Facebook requires these. $loggedin = curl_exec ($ch);
// Execute the Facebook Login preg_match("/<form method=\"post\" id=\"composer_form\" action=\"\/a\/home.php(.*)\">/U", $loggedin, $formaction); preg_match("/<input type=\"hidden\" name=\"fb_dtsg\" value=\"(.*)\" autocomplete=\"off\" \/>/U", $loggedin, $dtsg); preg_match("/<input type=\"hidden\" name=\"post_form_id\" value=\"(.*)\" \/>/U", $loggedin, $formid); curl_close ($ch); unset($ch);
// We're logged in, kill the current CURL SESSION.
And finally, post the status.
$ch = curl_init(); // We pretty much do the same again - I could put this in a function, but for clarity will not.
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_COOKIEFILE, "cookie.txt");
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, "Mozilla/5.0");
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, 'http://m.facebook.com/a/home.php'.$formaction[1]); 
// POST THE FORM curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POST, 1);
// Make sure it's set to POST. curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1); curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_POSTFIELDS, "charset_test=".$chartest[1]."&fb_dtsg=".$dtsg[1]."&post_form_id=".$formid[1]."&status=$status&update=Share");
// Send the status in the URL, via GET $buf2 = curl_exec ($ch); curl_close ($ch); unset($ch);
// Kill it, we are done!
In conclusion, cURL is a very powerful tool that allows us to not only get but also send information to and from a server. Used correctly, we can very easily manipulate websites such as Facebook to do our bidding. Please remember though -- always use responsibly.
Until next time,

Marc Steven Plotz

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