Import RSS feeds into Facebook without relinquishing content control

Facebook has added a feature to import blog posts as Facebook notes. On the face of it, this is a great thing: it provides visibility to people who are unlikely to subscribe to your blog in a newsreader.

It’s Facebook’s Terms of Use that concern me. Although you theoretically retain copyright of your content in some vague perfunctory sense, Facebook can and will use your content (photographs, notes, wall posts, etc — even your privacy-restricted content) for anything they please, thankyouverymuch.

Don’t believe me? Read the official terms page:

By posting User Content to any part of the Site, you automatically grant… to the Company an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publicly perform, publicly display, reformat, translate, excerpt (in whole or in part) and distribute such User Content for any purpose, commercial, advertising, or otherwise, on or in connection with the Site or the promotion thereof, to prepare derivative works of, or incorporate into other works, such User Content, and to grant and authorize sublicenses of the foregoing.

If this makes you uncomfortable, the solution is simple: create your content elsewhere. (Posterous and Tumblr are great places to start.)

To get your content back into Facebook, simply create a custom, truncated newsfeed in Feedburner and add it to your Facebook notes.

Procedure using Feedburner:

1) In Feedburner, create a new feed to your site. (Add a descriptive name – e.g., “yoursite – facebook” – to differentiate from your main feed, if applicable.)

2) Under the Optimize tab, go to Summary Burner

3) Add a descriptive footer and choose Save. Mine says:

[Truncated due to Facebook’s acquisitive Terms of Use. Please click “View original post” below for the rest.]

4) Now, import the feed into Facebook here

That’s it. Your posts will now be imported to your Facebook mini-feed, but Facebook doesn’t get its hands on your content.

2/16/09 Update: Facebook now claims your data forever.