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Project Description

Facebook Chat Archive Parser

A small tool and library for parsing chat history from a Facebook data archive into more usable formats.

What is a “Facebook Chat Archive”?

Facebook Messenger records all your conversation history since the beginning of time. If you want it back for some reason, you have two options:

  1. Create a scraper that constantly “scrolls up” in the conversation window you’re interested in (or simulates that with API calls), progressively getting more and more of your chat history.
  2. Ask Facebook for an archive of all your data here , and wait a couple of days for them to give it to you as a zip archive.

Number 2 is the only practical option if you want everything in a timely manner.

What does Facebook give me in this zip archive?

Facebook gives you literally everything you’ve ever posted to Facebook, which includes your pictures, videos, posts. etc in addition to your chat messages.

Your chat history comes in a single HTML page titled messages.htm. Unfortunately, the data is mostly unordered and impossible to load into your web browser (it can be several hundred megabytes in size). You’re essentially forced to parse it if you want to analyze the content.

Why would I ever want my Facebook chat history?

There are a number of reasons you may want to parse your Facebook chat history:

  1. To make a simulation of your friends using Markov chains.
  2. You’re deleting your Facebook account, but would like a record of your conversations.
  3. You need to analyze a copy of your conversations for legal reasons.

Here comes the Facebook Chat Archive Parser!

The Facebook Chat Archive Parser is a command line tool (and library for advanced users) for easily transforming your messages.htm file into something actually useful.

How do I get it?

Install the Facebook Chat Archive Parser via pip under at least Python 2.7:

pip install fbchat-archive-parser

How does it work?

Simply run the command fbcap in your terminal with your messages.htm file as the argument.

fbcap ./messages.htm

And watch as the parser sifts through your data!

When it’s done, it will dump all your conversation history is dumped to stdout. Obviously, this can be very long, so here is an example:

What if I want JSON?

Simply supply the -f json option to the command line:

fbcap ./messages.htm -f json

The output format is as follows:

Messages are ordered from oldest to newest.
{
    "threads": [
        {
            "participants": ["participant_0", "...", "participant_n"],
            "messages": [
                {
                    "date": "ISO 8601 formatted date",
                    "sender": "sender name",
                    "message": "message text"
                },
                "..."
            ]
        },
        "..."
    ]
}

How about CSV?

Of course!

fbcap ./messages.htm -f csv
thread,sender,date,message
Third User,Third User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,1
Third User,Third User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,2
Third User,Third User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,3
Third User,First User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,4
Third User,Third User,2013-10-04T15:06Z,5
Third User,First User,2013-10-04T15:07Z,6
Third User,First User,2013-10-04T15:07Z,7
Second User,Second User,2013-10-04T15:04Z,X Y Z
Second User,Second User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,X? Y Z!
Second User,Second User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,This is a test
Second User,Second User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,"Yes, it is"
Second User,Second User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,The last message!
"Second User, Third User",Third User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,1
"Second User, Third User",Third User,2013-10-04T15:05Z,2
...

What about that YAML thing the kids these days are talking about?

For sure!

fbcap ./messages.htm -f yaml
user: First User
threads:
- participants:
  - Second User
  - Third User
  messages:
  - date: 2013-10-04T22:05-07:00
    message: '1'
    sender: Third User
  - date: 2013-10-04T22:05-07:00
    message: '2'
    sender: Third User
  - date: 2013-10-04T22:05-07:00
    message: '3'
    sender: Third User
...

What if I want to see some statistics?

See who you talk to the most among your friends and how much each of you contribute to the conversation.

fbcap ./messages.htm -f stats

How do I get any of the above into a file?

Just use standard file redirects.

fbcap ./messages.htm > my_file.txt

What if I only want to parse out a specific conversation?

You can use the -t option to specify a particular conversation/thread you want to output. Just provide a comma-separated set of names. If you don’t remember a last name (or conversely, only remember the last name), the system will try to compensate.

fbcap ./messages.htm -t second
fbcap ./messages.htm -t second,third

What else can I do?

Take a look at the help options to find out more!

$ fbcap --help
fbcap: A program for converting Facebook chat history to a number of more usable formats

Usage: fbcap {{arguments}} {{options}}

Arguments:
  path [text]  Path of the messages.htm file to parse

Options:
  -h, --help              Show this help message and exit
  -f, --format [str]      Format to convert to (json, csv, text, yaml, stats) (default: text)
  -t, --thread [text]     Only include threads involving exactly the following comma-separated participants in output (-t 'Billy,Steve Jensson')
  -z, --timezones [text]  Timezone disambiguators (TZ=OFFSET,[TZ=OFFSET[...]])
  -u, --utc               Use UTC timestamps in the output
  -n, --nocolor           Do not colorize output
  -p, --noprogress        Do not show progress output
Release History

Release History

0.8.post34

This version

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0.8.post30

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0.8.post28

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0.8.post26

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0.8.post21

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0.8.post20

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0.8.post16

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0.8.post15

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0.8.post14

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0.8.post6

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0.8.post4

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0.8.post3

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0.8

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0.7.post32

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0.7.post16

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0.7.post15

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0.7.post12

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0.7.post10

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0.7.post8

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0.7.post7

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0.7.post6

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0.7.post5

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0.7.post2

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0.7.post1

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0.7

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0.6.post3

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0.6.post2

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0.6.post1

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0.5.post6

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0.5.post4

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0.5

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0.4.post2

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0.4.post1

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0.4

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0.3.1

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0.3.post2

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0.3

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0.2

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0.1

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Download Files

Download Files

TODO: Brief introduction on what you do with files - including link to relevant help section.

File Name & Checksum SHA256 Checksum Help Version File Type Upload Date
fbchat_archive_parser-0.8.post34.tar.gz (30.8 kB) Copy SHA256 Checksum SHA256 Source Feb 20, 2017

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