Tag Archives: Facebook

Automated posting on Vkontakte public pages using VK API and Python

Vk.com (Vkontakte) is the most popular social network Russia and Ex-USSR with 430+ million users. Originally it was a Facebook clone. But now, after 10 years of development, these two services are quite different from each other.

Traditional advantages of vk.com – huge amount of free music and video. The service allows users to upload and share files and for a long time was quite tolerant to piracy. In 2016 Mail.Ru Group, Vkontakte parent company, has solved all problems with major music labels and  now works closely with the rights holders.

Unlike Facebook, VKontakte has very efficient features for creating communities: public pages (blogs) and groups (open and closed web-forums). In VK communities you can easily share news, photo, audio, video, text files in different formats, create discussions topics and wiki-pages. When I was studying at the University in 2003-2009, to share information in a study group we needed to create our own website and phpBB-based forum. Now practically all students simply use VKontakte groups for this. Unlike Facebook, VKontakte shows all content in groups as is, without hiding and filtering.

With reach automation capabilities, you can do various interesting things based on VK. For a start, I decided to post all annotations from my https://avleonov.com blog to https://vk.com/avleonovcom Vkontakte page. I created this page in web GUI and filled it with content automatically using my own python scripts.

Creating a new application

I want to work with Vkontakte from my Python scripts. So, I will need to create a new Standalone Application for this. You can do it here: https://vk.com/editapp?act=create

vk new application

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Selenium, SikuliX and Facebook posting

The last post was about SikuliX. It’s fair to say that it’s not optimal for web applications automation. For such applications, it’s better to use something, that will natively work with your web-browse. The first solution that comes to mind is, of course, Selenium.

Selenium is a portable software-testing framework for web applications. Selenium provides a record/playback tool for authoring tests without the need to learn a test scripting language.

This app is released under the Apache 2.0 license and is a very common tool for Quality Assurance (QA). It can be also used in Information Security. For example, you can upload Selenium scripts in Qualys WAS (Web Application Scanner)  to help scanner in performing some complex operations, for example in authentication on the website.

Selenium Upload script in Qualys

Selenium is available in a form of two products: Selenium WebDriver for some hardcore automation and web-browser plugin Selenium IDE, which will help you to create and run scripts. I chose Selenium IDE.

Selenium types
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