Read and write to the social feed by using the REST service in SharePoint

Create a SharePoint-hosted app that uses the REST service to publish a post and get the personal feed for the current user.

Prerequisites for creating a SharePoint-hosted SharePoint Add-in that publishes a post and gets the social feed by using the SharePoint REST service

This article assumes that you create the SharePoint Add-in by using Napa on an Office 365 Developer Site. If you're using this development environment, you've already met the prerequisites.

Note: Go to Set up a development environment for SharePoint Add-ins on Office 365 to find out how to sign up for a Developer Site and start using Napa.

If you're not using Napa on a Developer Site, you'll need the following:

  • SharePoint with My Site configured, and with a personal site created for the current user

  • Visual Studio 2012 and Office Developer Tools for Visual Studio 2013

  • Full Control access permissions to the User Profile service application for the logged-on user

Note: For guidance about how to set up a development environment that fits your needs, see Start building apps for Office and SharePoint.

Core concepts to know about working with SharePoint social feeds

The SharePoint-hosted app that you create in this article uses JavaScript to build and send HTTP requests to Representational State Transfer (REST) endpoints. These requests publish a post and get the personal feed for the current user. Table 1 contains links to articles that describe general concepts you should understand before you get started.

Table 1. Core concepts for working with SharePoint social feeds

Article title Description
SharePoint Add-ins
Learn about SharePoint Add-ins and fundamental concepts for building them.
Get started developing with social features in SharePoint
Find out how to start programming with social feeds and microblog posts, following people and content (documents, sites, and tags.md), and working with user profiles.
Work with social feeds in SharePoint
Learn about common programming tasks for working with social feeds and the API that you use to perform the tasks.

Create the SharePoint Add-in project

  1. On your Developer Site, open Napa, and then choose Add New Project.

  2. Choose the App for SharePoint template, name the projectSocialFeedREST, and then choose the Create button.

  3. Specify the permissions that your app needs:

    a. Choose the Properties button at the bottom of the page.

    b. In the Properties window, choose Permissions.

    c. In the Content category, set Write permissions for the Tenant scope.

    d. In the Social category, set Read permissions for the User Profiles scope.

    e. Close the Properties window.

  4. Expand the Scripts node, choose the App.js file, and delete the contents of the file.

Post to the social feed by using the SharePoint REST service

  1. In the App.js file, declare a global variable for the URL of the SocialFeedManager endpoint.
var feedManagerEndpoint;
  1. Add the following code, which gets the SPAppWebUrl parameter from the query string and uses it to build the SocialFeedManager endpoint.
  $(document).ready(function () {
    var appweburl;
    var params = document.URL.split("?")[1].split("&");
    for (var i = 0; i < params.length; i = i + 1) {
        var param = params[i].split("=");
        if (param[0] === "SPAppWebUrl") appweburl = param[1];
    }
    feedManagerEndpoint = decodeURIComponent(appweburl) + "/_api/social.feed";
    postToMyFeed();
});
  1. Add the following code, which builds the HTTP POST request for the /my/Feed/Post endpoint, defines the post's creation data, and publishes the post.

    The request sends a SocialRestPostCreationData resource in the request body. SocialRestPostCreationData contains the target for the post (in this case, null to specify a root post for the current user) and a SocialPostCreationData complex type that defines the post's properties.


function postToMyFeed() {
    $.ajax( {
        url: feedManagerEndpoint + "/my/Feed/Post",
        type: "POST",
        data: JSON.stringify( { 
            'restCreationData':{
                '__metadata':{ 
                    'type':'SP.Social.SocialRestPostCreationData'
                },
                'ID':null, 
                'creationData':{ 
                    '__metadata':{ 
                        'type':'SP.Social.SocialPostCreationData'
                    },
                'ContentText':'This post was published using REST.',
                'UpdateStatusText':false
                } 
            } 
        }),
        headers: { 
            "accept": "application/json;odata=verbose",
            "content-type":"application/json;odata=verbose",
            "X-RequestDigest": $("#__REQUESTDIGEST").val()
        },
        success: getMyFeed,
        error: function (xhr, ajaxOptions, thrownError) { 
            alert("POST error:\\n" + xhr.status + "\\n" + thrownError);
        }
    });
}

Retrieve the social feed for the current user by using the SharePoint REST service

Add the following code, which gets the Personal feed type for the current user by using the /my/Feed endpoint. The accept header requests that the server return a JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) representation of the feed in its response.


function getMyFeed() {
    $.ajax( {
        url: feedManagerEndpoint + "/my/Feed",
        headers: { 
            "accept": "application/json;odata=verbose"
        },
        success: feedRetrieved,
        error: function (xhr, ajaxOptions, thrownError) { 
            alert("GET error:\\n" + xhr.status + "\\n" + thrownError);
        }
    });    
}

Iterate through the social feed and read from it by using the SharePoint REST service

Add the following code, which prepares the returned data by using the JSON.stringify function and the JSON.parse function, and then iterates through the feed and gets the thread's owner and the root post's text.


function feedRetrieved(data) {
    var stringData = JSON.stringify(data);
    var jsonObject = JSON.parse(stringData); 

    var feed = jsonObject.d.SocialFeed.Threads; 
    var threads = feed.results;
    var feedContent = "";
    for (var i = 0; i < threads.length; i++) {
        var thread = threads[i];
        var participants = thread.Actors;
        var owner = participants.results[thread.OwnerIndex].Name;
        feedContent += '<p>' + owner + 
            ' said "' + thread.RootPost.Text + '"</p>';
    }  
    $("#message").html(feedContent); 
}

Run the app for SharePoint on the Developer Site

  1. To run the app, choose the Run Project button at the bottom of the page.

  2. In the Do you trust page that opens, choose the Trust It button. The app page opens and displays the owner's name and the text of each root post in the feed.

Code example: Publish a post and get the feed for the current user by using the SharePoint REST service

The following is the complete code example for the App.js file. It publishes a post and gets the personal feed for the current user, which is returned as a JSON object. Then it iterates through the feed.


var feedManagerEndpoint;

// Get the SPAppWebUrl parameter from the query string and build
// the feed manager endpoint.
$(document).ready(function () {
    var appweburl;
    var params = document.URL.split("?")[1].split("&amp;");
    for (var i = 0; i < params.length; i = i + 1) {
        var param = params[i].split("=");
        if (param[0] === "SPAppWebUrl") appweburl = param[1];
    }
    feedManagerEndpoint = decodeURIComponent(appweburl)+ "/_api/social.feed";
    postToMyFeed();
});

// Publish a post to the current user's feed by using the 
// "<app web URL>/_api/social.feed/my/Feed/Post" endpoint.
function postToMyFeed() {
    $.ajax( {
        url: feedManagerEndpoint + "/my/Feed/Post",
        type: "POST",
        data: JSON.stringify( { 
            'restCreationData':{
                '__metadata':{ 
                    'type':'SP.Social.SocialRestPostCreationData'
                },
                'ID':null, 
                'creationData':{ 
                    '__metadata':{ 
                        'type':'SP.Social.SocialPostCreationData'
                    },
                'ContentText':'This post was published using REST.',
                'UpdateStatusText':false
                } 
            } 
        }),
        headers: { 
            "accept": "application/json;odata=verbose",
            "content-type":"application/json;odata=verbose",
            "X-RequestDigest": $("#__REQUESTDIGEST").val()
        },
        success: getMyFeed,
        error: function (xhr, ajaxOptions, thrownError) { 
            alert("POST error:\\n" + xhr.status + "\\n" + thrownError);
        }
    });
}

// Get the current user's feed by using the 
// "<app web URL>/_api/social.feed/my/Feed" endpoint.
function getMyFeed() {
    $.ajax( {
        url: feedManagerEndpoint + "/my/Feed",
        headers: { 
            "accept": "application/json;odata=verbose"
        },
        success: feedRetrieved,
        error: function (xhr, ajaxOptions, thrownError) { 
            alert("GET error:\\n" + xhr.status + "\\n" + thrownError);
        }
    });    
}

// Parse the JSON data and iterate through the feed.
function feedRetrieved(data) {
    var stringData = JSON.stringify(data);
    var jsonObject = JSON.parse(stringData); 

    var feed = jsonObject.d.SocialFeed.Threads; 
    var threads = feed.results;
    var feedContent = "";
    for (var i = 0; i < threads.length; i++) {
        var thread = threads[i];
        var participants = thread.Actors;
        var owner = participants.results[thread.OwnerIndex].Name;
        feedContent += '<p>' + owner + 
            ' said "' + thread.RootPost.Text + '"</p>';
    }  
    $("#message").html(feedContent); 
}

Next steps

See Social feed REST API reference for SharePoint and Following people and content REST API reference for SharePoint for other REST endpoints that you can use to access social features.

Additional resources