Home Facebook Graph API v2.0+ - /me/friends returns empty, or only friends who also use my application
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Facebook Graph API v2.0+ - /me/friends returns empty, or only friends who also use my application

Celal Kaşlı
Celal Kaşlı Published in 2014-05-01 21:58:18Z

I am trying to get my friend name and ids with Graph API v2.0, but data returns empty:

  "data": [

When I was using v1.0, everything was OK with the following request:

FBRequest* friendsRequest = [FBRequest requestForMyFriends];
[friendsRequest startWithCompletionHandler: ^(FBRequestConnection *connection,
                                              NSDictionary* result,
                                              NSError *error) {
    NSArray* friends = [result objectForKey:@"data"];
    NSLog(@"Found: %i friends", friends.count);
    for (NSDictionary<FBGraphUser>* friend in friends) {
        NSLog(@"I have a friend named %@ with id %@", friend.name, friend.id);

But now I cannot get friends!

Simon Cross
Simon Cross Reply to 2014-08-06 20:41:43Z

In v2.0 of the Graph API, calling /me/friends returns the person's friends who also use the app.

In addition, in v2.0, you must request the user_friends permission from each user. user_friends is no longer included by default in every login. Each user must grant the user_friends permission in order to appear in the response to /me/friends. See the Facebook upgrade guide for more detailed information, or review the summary below.

If you want to access a list of non-app-using friends, there are two options:

  1. If you want to let your people tag their friends in stories that they publish to Facebook using your App, you can use the /me/taggable_friends API. Use of this endpoint requires review by Facebook and should only be used for the case where you're rendering a list of friends in order to let the user tag them in a post.

  2. If your App is a Game AND your Game supports Facebook Canvas, you can use the /me/invitable_friends endpoint in order to render a custom invite dialog, then pass the tokens returned by this API to the standard Requests Dialog.

In other cases, apps are no longer able to retrieve the full list of a user's friends (only those friends who have specifically authorized your app using the user_friends permission). This has been confirmed by Facebook as 'by design'.

For apps wanting allow people to invite friends to use an app, you can still use the Send Dialog on Web or the new Message Dialog on iOS and Android.

UPDATE: Facebook have published an FAQ on these changes here: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/apps/faq which explain all the options available to developers in order to invite friends etc.

LEO Reply to 2014-07-30 02:19:20Z

Although Simon Cross's answer is accepted and correct, I thought I would beef it up a bit with an example (android) of what needs to be done. I'll keep it as general as I can and focus on just the question. Personally I wound up storing things in a database so the loading was smooth but that requires a CursorAdapter and ContentProvider which is a bit out of scope here.

I came here myself and then thought, now what?!

The Issue

Just like user3594351, I was noticing the friend data was blank. I found this out by using the FriendPickerFragment. What worked three months ago, no longer works. Even facebook's examples broke. So my issue was 'How Do I create FriendPickerFragment by hand?

What Did Not Work

Option #1 from Simon Cross was not strong enough to invite friends to the app. Simon Cross also recommended the Requests Dialog but that would only allow 5 requests at a time. Requests dialog also showed the same friends during any given Facebook logged in session. Not useful.

What Worked (Summary)

Option #2 with some hard work. You must make sure you fulfill Facebook's new rules: 1.) You're a game 2.) You have a Canvas app (Web Presence) 3.) You're app is registered with Facebook. All done on Facebook developer website under settings.

To emulate the friend picker by hand inside my app I did the following:

  1. Create a tab activity that shows two fragments. Each fragment shows a list. One fragment for available friend (/me/friends) and another for invitable friends (/me/invitable_friends). Use the same fragment code to render both tabs.
  2. Create an AsyncTask that will get the friend data from Facebook. Once that data is loaded, toss it to the adapter which will render the values to the screen.


The AsynchTask

private class DownloadFacebookFriendsTask extends AsyncTask<FacebookFriend.Type, Boolean, Boolean> {
        private final String TAG = DownloadFacebookFriendsTask.class.getSimpleName();
        GraphObject graphObject;
        ArrayList<FacebookFriend> myList = new ArrayList<FacebookFriend>();

        protected Boolean doInBackground(FacebookFriend.Type... pickType) {
            //Determine Type
            String facebookRequest;
            if (pickType[0] == FacebookFriend.Type.AVAILABLE) {
                facebookRequest = "/me/friends";
            } else {
                facebookRequest = "/me/invitable_friends";

            //Launch Facebook request and WAIT.
            new Request(
                    new Request.Callback() {
                        public void onCompleted(Response response) {
                            FacebookRequestError error = response.getError();
                            if (error != null && response != null) {
                                Log.e(TAG, error.toString());
                            } else {
                                graphObject = response.getGraphObject();

            //Process Facebook response
            if (graphObject == null) {
                return false;

            int numberOfRecords = 0;
            JSONArray dataArray = (JSONArray) graphObject.getProperty("data");
            if (dataArray.length() > 0) {

                // Ensure the user has at least one friend ...
                for (int i = 0; i < dataArray.length(); i++) {

                    JSONObject jsonObject = dataArray.optJSONObject(i);
                    FacebookFriend facebookFriend = new FacebookFriend(jsonObject, pickType[0]);

                    if (facebookFriend.isValid()) {


            //make sure there are records to process
            if (numberOfRecords > 0){
                return true;
            } else {
                return false;

        protected void onProgressUpdate(Boolean... booleans) {
            //no need to update this, wait until the whole thread finishes.

        protected void onPostExecute(Boolean result) {
            if (result) {
                User the array "myList" to create the adapter which will control showing items in the list.

            } else {
                Log.i(TAG, "Facebook Thread unable to Get/Parse friend data. Type = " + pickType);

The FacebookFriend class I created

public class FacebookFriend {
    String facebookId;
    String name;
    String pictureUrl;
    boolean invitable;
    boolean available;
    boolean isValid;
    public enum Type {AVAILABLE, INVITABLE};

    public FacebookFriend(JSONObject jsonObject, Type type) {
        //Parse the Facebook Data from the JSON object.
        try {
            if (type == Type.INVITABLE) {
                //parse /me/invitable_friend
                this.facebookId =  jsonObject.getString("id");
                this.name = jsonObject.getString("name");

                //Handle the picture data.
                JSONObject pictureJsonObject = jsonObject.getJSONObject("picture").getJSONObject("data");
                boolean isSilhouette = pictureJsonObject.getBoolean("is_silhouette");
                if (!isSilhouette) {
                    this.pictureUrl = pictureJsonObject.getString("url");

                } else {
                    this.pictureUrl = "";

                this.invitable = true;
            } else {
                //parse /me/friends
                this.facebookId =  jsonObject.getString("id");
                this.name = jsonObject.getString("name");
                this.available = true;
                this.pictureUrl = "";

            isValid = true;
        } catch (JSONException e) {
            Log.w("#", "Warnings - unable to process FB JSON: " + e.getLocalizedMessage());
Jobins John
Jobins John Reply to 2015-03-21 11:54:54Z

Facebook has revised their policies now. You can´t get the whole friendlist anyway if your App does not have a Canvas implementation and if your App is not a game. Of course there´s also taggable_friends, but that one is for tagging only.

You will be able to pull the list of friends who have authorised the app only.

The apps that are using Graph API 1.0 will be working till April 30th, 2015 and after that it will be deprecated.

See link below to get more details on this



Hope this helps

Ondrej Svejdar
Ondrej Svejdar Reply to 2017-03-09 19:28:33Z

As Simon mentioned, this is not possible in new facebook API. Pure technically speaking you can do it via browser automation.

  • this is against Facebook policy, so depending on country where you live this may not be legal
  • you'll have to use your credentials / ask user for credentials and possibly store them (storing passwords even symmetrically encrypted is not a good idea)
  • when facebook changes their api, you'll have to update browser automation code as well (if you can't force updates of your application, you should put browser automation piece out as webservice)
  • this is bypassing OAuth concept
  • on the other hand my feeling is that I'm owning my data including list of my friends and FB shouldn't restrict me from accessing those via API

Sample implementation using WatiN

class FacebookUser
  public string Name { get; set; }
  public long Id { get; set; }

public IList<FacebookUser> GetFacebookFriends(string email, string password, int? maxTimeoutInMilliseconds)
  var users = new List<FacebookUser>();
  Settings.Instance.MakeNewIeInstanceVisible = false;
  using (var browser = new IE("https://www.facebook.com"))
      browser.TextField(Find.ByName("email")).Value = email;
      browser.TextField(Find.ByName("pass")).Value = password;
    catch (ElementNotFoundException)
      // we're already logged in
    var watch = new Stopwatch();

    Link previousLastLink = null;
    while (maxTimeoutInMilliseconds.HasValue && watch.Elapsed.TotalMilliseconds < maxTimeoutInMilliseconds.Value)
      var lastLink = browser.Links.Where(l => l.GetAttributeValue("data-hovercard") != null
&& l.GetAttributeValue("data-hovercard").Contains("user.php")
&& l.Text != null
      if (lastLink == null || previousLastLink == lastLink)

      var ieElement = lastLink.NativeElement as IEElement;
      if (ieElement != null)
        var htmlElement = ieElement.AsHtmlElement;

      previousLastLink = lastLink;

    var links = browser.Links.Where(l => l.GetAttributeValue("data-hovercard") != null
      && l.GetAttributeValue("data-hovercard").Contains("user.php")
      && l.Text != null

    var idRegex = new Regex("id=(?<id>([0-9]+))");
    foreach (var link in links)
      string hovercard = link.GetAttributeValue("data-hovercard");
      var match = idRegex.Match(hovercard);
      long id = 0;
      if (match.Success)
        id = long.Parse(match.Groups["id"].Value);
      users.Add(new FacebookUser
        Name = link.Text,
        Id = id
  return users;

Prototype with implementation of this approach (using C#/Watin) see https://github.com/svejdo1/ShadowApi It is also allowing dynamic update of facebook connector that is retrieving list of your contacts.

Abhishek Sharma
Abhishek Sharma Reply to 2015-05-22 14:53:43Z

Try /me/taggable_friends?limit=5000 using your javascript code


try the graph API


Have fun

Lineesh K Mohan
Lineesh K Mohan Reply to 2017-04-27 07:20:42Z

in FBSDKGraphAPI v2.0 or above, you must request the user_friends permission from each user in the time of FB login.since user_friends is no longer included by default in every login, we have to add that. Each user must grant the user_friends permission in order to appear in the response to /me/friends

    let fbLoginManager : FBSDKLoginManager = FBSDKLoginManager()
    fbLoginManager.loginBehavior = FBSDKLoginBehavior.web
    fbLoginManager.logIn(withReadPermissions: ["email","user_friends","public_profile"], from: self) { (result, error) in
        if (error == nil){

            let fbloginresult : FBSDKLoginManagerLoginResult = result!
            if fbloginresult.grantedPermissions != nil {
                if(fbloginresult.grantedPermissions.contains("email")) {
                    // Do the stuff
                }else {

            }else {

So at the time of FB login, it prompt screen which contain all the permissions

If user press continue button, the permissions will set. When you access the friends list using FBGraphAPI, your friends who logged into the application as above will be listed

   if((FBSDKAccessToken.current()) != nil){
        FBSDKGraphRequest(graphPath: "/me/friends", parameters: ["fields" : "id,name"]).start(completionHandler: { (connection, result, error) -> Void in
            if (error == nil){


The output will contain the users who granted user_friends permission at the time of login to your application through Facebook

    data =     (
            id = xxxxxxxxxx;
            name = "xxxxxxxx";
    paging =     {
        cursors =         {
            after = xxxxxx;
            before = xxxxxxx;
    summary =     {
        "total_count" = 8;
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