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Splunk + Facebook Messenger

Sample dashboard


For this project, I decided to use AWS (free tier) and set up an EC2 instance. You can read more about the AWS free tier here.


  1. Head over to Facebook and download your information. Set the format to HTML (default) and media quality to Low (media files won’t be used for this project), and pick your desired date range. Under Your Information, click Deselect All and only select Messages. Finally, click Create File. Step 1

  2. Your files may take a while to generate, but once they are ready, you will be alerted via email. Once you get a notification that your files are ready, go back to the Download Your Information page and download your generated file. (Note: if multiple files are generated, everything after the first one will usually just contain media, so you don’t need to download anything besides the first file.) Step 2

  3. Extract the zip file you just downloaded, and find the messages folder inside. Once there, go into the inbox folder. Download this Python script, which will convert all your HTML message files into CSV format, and place it into the messages/inbox/ directory.

  4. In the Python script, set line 6 to windows = False if not using Windows. Then run the Python script (I’m using Python 3.6) and you should now have several CSV files generated containing your Facebook Messenger data. Compress all your generated CSV files into zip archives no more than 500 Mb in size, to prepare for upload to Splunk. Step 4

  5. Now that you’ve prepared your data to be ingested into Splunk, it’s time to get some insights! Download and setup Splunk Enterprise on a server. Once Splunk has been set up, go into $SPLUNK_HOME/bin/ and run ./splunk start --accept-license. Detailed setup instructions can be found here.

  6. Head over to Splunk Web (http://<ENTERPRISE-SERVER-IP>:8000) and login with the credentials you set up in the previous step. Then go to Settings > Add Data > Upload and select/drag your compressed archive of CSVs. (Note: you may get a warning Preview is not supported for this archive file, but it can still be indexed. You can ignore this message.) Step 6 - Part 1 Step 6 - Part 2

  7. Click Next, and you should now be at the Input Settings page. Next to Source type, click Select, and search for the csv source type. You can leave the Host value as is. For Index, click Create a new index, and set the Index Name to messenger. You can leave the rest of the settings as-is, or customize as you see fit. Next, click Review. Verify that Source Type is set to csv and Index is set to messenger, then hit Submit. Step 7 - Part 1 Step 7 - Part 2

  8. We’re almost done! Now that we’ve ingested Facebook Messenger data into Splunk, all that’s left is creating the dashboard. Go to Dashboards > Create New Dashboard, and give it a name. At the top left, switch from UI to Source mode, and replace the current XML code with the code from this dashboard template. Hit Save, and then Refresh to reload the dashboard. Step 8 - Part 1 Step 8 - Part 2

  9. And that’s it! You should now be able to see insights from your Facebook Messenger activity on Splunk. You can continue adding to this dashboard and search your data for more insights, or leave it as-is.