Understanding and Managing Feed Updates

Please note

This is a unified guide for all Social Stream Apps including Flow-Flow for WordPress, Flow-Flow standalone PHP script, Grace for WordPress and all upcoming streaming apps. Here and below by any mention of Plugin or Social Stream App mean one of the apps or plugins listed above.

While creating or editing a feed in Flow-Flow, you can see two options responsible for the frequency and volume of posts loaded during update.

Sometimes, POSTS TO LOAD DURING UPDATE option confuses our users, and we would like to explain it better.

How it works

  • This setting determines how many new posts will be loaded (added) to the feed during an update.
  • Feed updates frequency is determined in options on the same screen.
  • During each update, Flow-Flow is looking for new posts according to your settings. If new posts found, they are added to the feed.
  • Previously loaded posts are stored and not overwritten (only if the limit of stored posts amount was not reached). You can change this on the general Settings tab.

Limitations

The maximum amount of posts loaded during the update is limited by 20. But the initial load is always bigger. Every time you create or update feed, Flow-Flow (v. 3.1+) pulls 50 posts no matter what you set in options. That allows you to create more complete streams from the very beginning. Especially it’s important if you have plans to moderate or filter posts.

Unfortunately, there is no possibility to load past posts currently. Flow-Flow is always looking for new posts. That’s how social networks provide to us new posts via API. So, if you want to have 100 posts from a specific feed, some time needs to pass.

Please note, that it’s not possible to set this option for some sources (e.g., RSS, Flickr, Pinterest, Vimeo) due to technical limitation or API restrictions. Those sources provide a specific amount of posts, and we have no way to influence this.

Example

  • You created new Facebook feed and setup to load 20 posts during update with a frequency of 1 day.
  • Once you add the new feed, Flow-Flow pulls the bigger amount of posts for initial load (50). All other loads are 20.
  • According to your settings feed will be looking for 20 new posts in 1 day.
  • One day passed, and 2 new posts appeared in the Facebook feed. Flow-Flow pulls them and adds to your Stream. Now you have 50+2 posts on your site.
  • Another day passed, and 25 new posts appeared in the Facebook feed. Flow-Flow pulls 20 of them and adds to your Stream. Now you have 50+2+20 posts on your site.

Why do we have those limitations?

We have to limit the amount and frequency of loaded posts in order not to abuse or overload social networks with an abnormal amount of API requests. So we could provide our users with stability and smooth experience. This is the compromise and balance between freedom and stability we should take care of. And we always act in the interests of our users with concern for stability and performance.

If you are interested in learning more on this topic, you can read the next article:
Facebook: Application Request Limit Reached.