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Get Screenshots of LinkedIn Pages in Airtable

Feb 6, 2022Andy Cloke

In this guide, we're going to create screenshots for a list of LinkedIn URLs in Airtable. We'll use the Data Fetcher Airtable extension and the Urlbox screenshot service. By default, trying to screenshot a LinkedIn page/ profile URL will just create a screenshot of the LinkedIn login screen, so we'll need to use a cookie to make LinkedIn think we're logged in. The screenshots we create from the LinkedIn URLs will be stored in an Airtable attachment field.

Set Up Pages Table

Create a table in your Airtable base called 'Pages'.

Then create a field in this table called 'URL' with the type 'URL'. Add all the LinkedIn URLs you want to screenshot, one in each record. If you've already got a list of URLs, you can ignore this step.

Then create a field called 'Screenshot' with the type 'Attachment'.

linkedin-pages-table.png

In the same table, create a new Grid view called 'Needs screenshot' with the following filters:

  • The 'URL' field is not empty.
  • The 'Screenshot' field is empty.

The records in the 'Needs screenshot' view are what we'll run Data Fetcher on. As the screenshots are created, they will move out of this view.

linkedin-needs-screenshot-view.png

Install Data Fetcher

Data Fetcher is a free extension that lets you connect to other applications like Urlbox, Google Maps and lots more right inside Airable. Add Data Fetcher to your base from the Airtable marketplace.

After you have added Data Fetcher to your base, you will need to create a free account. Signing up for a Data Fetcher account keeps your details secure. It's separate from your Airtable account.

Enter a password and click 'Sign up for free' or click 'Continue with Google'.

Group 1Data Fetcher Sign Up .png

Create Screenshots of LinkedIn URLs in Airtable

Requests in Data Fetcher are how you send data to/from your Airtable base. We're going to create a request to connect to the Urlbox service. On the Data Fetcher home screen, click 'Create your first request'.

click-create-your-first-request.png

On the next screen, for Application, select 'Urlbox'.

urlbox-application-selected.png

You will need to get an API key from Urlbox. You can sign up to a free trial here, then get your API key in the Dashboard.

urlbox-dashboard-get-api-key.png

Paste this API key into the API Key input in Data Fetcher (under Authorization).

google-maps-authorization-api-key.png

For Endpoint, select 'Create screenshots from URLs'.

urlbox-endpoint-screenshots.png

Enter 'Import LinkedIn Screenshots' for the request Name. Then click 'Save & Continue'.

linkedin-screenshots-save-continue.png

For URL, we want to insert a reference to our 'URL' field. This means Data Fetcher will use the values from our 'URL' field in Airtable when we run the request. First, click the + button on the right-hand side of the URL input in Data Fetcher.

microlink-url-add-icon.png

A modal will open. Select 'URL' for Field and 'Needs screenshot' for Run for every record in view. Then click 'Confirm'.

apiflash-url-reference-modal.png

The URL field will now contain a reference to the table.

apiflash-url-reference.png

Select the Format you want to use for the screenshots, e.g. 'PNG'.

urlbox-format.png

We need to make LinkedIn think we are logged in when we capture the screenshot. Otherwise, we will just get a screenshot of the login screen!

To do this, sign in to LinkedIn, open your browser's network tab and navigate somewhere in LinkedIn, e.g. someone's profile. Then go to the network tab, click on a request, then 'Cookies' and copy the value for the li_at cookie.

If you don't follow this step, you can watch the YouTube video that goes along with this article.

linkedin-li-at-cookie.png

Back in Data Fetcher, click 'More options for this Urlbox endpoint'.

urlbox-more-options.png

Scroll to Cookie. Enter the following, replacing YOUR_LINKEDIN_LI_AT_COOKIE with the LinkedIn cookie you just got from your browser:

li_at=YOUR_LINKEDIN_LI_AT_COOKIE

urlbox li_at cookie.png

Make sure the Output Table & View is set to 'Pages' and 'Needs screenshot'.

output-table-view-needs-screenshot.png

Click 'Save & Run'.

urlbox linkedin save run.png

The request will run and the Response field mapping modal will open. Make sure the 'Screenshot' field from Urlbox is mapped to your existing 'Screenshot' field in Airtable. Then click 'Save & Run'.

urlbox-rfm.png

Data Fetcher will then run the request for every record in 'Needs screenshot' and convert the LinkedIn page URL to screenshots in Airtable as if you are logged into LinkedIn!

apiflash-linkedin-imported-data.png

Create Screenshots from LinkedIn Page URLs on a Schedule

At the moment, we have to manually run the request to create the screenshots. We can use Data Fetcher's scheduled requests feature to automatically create them every 15 minutes/ hour/ day etc.

In Data Fetcher, scroll to Schedule and click 'Upgrade'.

table-1-schedule-upgrade-button.png

A new tab will open where you can select a plan and enter your payment details to upgrade.

Screenshot 2021-12-29 at 10.25.19.png

Return to the Data Fetcher app and click "I've done this".

table-1-schedule-ive-done-this-button.png

Click 'Add API key' in order to add your Airtable API key. You can find your Airtable API key here.

Group 11(1).png

Enter your Airtable API key and click 'Save'.

save-airtable-api-key.png

Enable Schedule this request.

schedule-data-fetcher-request.png

Select how often you want the request to run, e.g. 'Every hour'. Click 'Save' The request will now convert the LinkedIn URLs to screenshot files on this schedule.

Group 11(2).png

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