Who is viewing my Facebook profile? Rather than “how to end world hunger?”, this is probably the most frequently asked question of the last decade. After all, you go through the trouble of setting up what you feel is the best representation of yourself, why wouldn’t you want to know who’s seen it?
Google any variety of the question above, and you’ll find loads of results. Many tutorials, a variety of apps, and a bucketful of promises. Should you believe them? Is there really some kind of way out there to know who viewed your Facebook profile?
Get Ready For Disappointment
Despite this being one of the oldest and most common Facebook myths, many users still have hope. But the shortest answer to all these questions is a resounding “NO”. According to Facebook, you simply can’t have that information. Why?
Facebook may be tracking many aspects of your usage for their own benefit and profit, but that doesn’t mean it has to provide that information to the public. Even if Facebook does know who viewed your profile, they’re not telling. There’s simply no way to access this information, and therefore no app or trick, not matter how convincing it looks, can actually provide it.
No, It’s Not Worth A Try
Still, there are many apps out there that claim to provide all sorts of information about your profile. And judging from the amount of Likes many of these apps have, many users are thinking “what’s the worst that can happen?”. Is that the right way to think?
Think of it like this: if someone offered you a sacksful of diamonds on the street, would you buy it? Or would you assume they were either fake or stolen diamonds? While there’s no money at stake here, there’s no reason to use less caution when it comes to your own privacy. And yes, these apps have everything to do with your privacy, and even your security.
Now that you know that there’s no way for any of these apps to provide the information they promise, it’s time to understand what they actually can provide. These are divided into two main groups:
- Apps that are entirely a hoax, provide nothing at all, and at times even infect you with malware that spreads to your friends.
- Apps that provide information only about users who also install the same app and perform some kind of action.
The latter may not be as harmful as the former — although it still might pester your friends to install it, which is spammy — but there’s no real way to tell the two apart, and neither will really tell you what you’re so eager to know. Best case scenario, you’ll find out who of your friends installed the same app as you, and chose for you to know that they viewed your profile. And even that is a bit shady. Probably not what you were going for.
Furthermore, Facebook makes it clear that any app that claims to give you information about who viewed your profile is a fraud, and should be reported as such.
So no, none of these apps are ever worth a try. They won’t provide the right information — they simply can’t — and they’re more than likely to infect you with something malicious. Avoid them.
I Already Installed An App, What Now?
If you’ve already installed one of these apps and have now seen the error of your ways, hurry up and remove the culprit from your apps list to revoke all its permissions. Simply access your Facebook privacy settings, click on Apps, and remove the app from the list by clicking the small “x” next to the app’s name.
If you’ve added many apps, you can use services such as MyPermissions to remove many apps with one click.
Hopefully, the app you installed is not the kind that’s actually malware and it didn’t spam all your friends with malicious links. If it did, it might do to add a public apology to the actions above.
What Can You See?
If you started reading this post hoping for something positive, you’ll be happy to hear there’s lots of other things you can find out about your Facebook profile. One of the best ways to get loads of interesting data about your Facebook activity and friends is to use Wolfram Alpha’s Facebook analytics tool. We told you all about how to use this awesome and free tool, so have a quick read and head over to Wolfram Alpha.
Naturally, you will have to grant the service access to quite a bit of your information — there’s no way around that — but at least it doesn’t rely on your friends granting it access as well, and since it’s Wolfram Alpha we’re talking about, you know it’s not going to infect you with malware
The service shows you everything from your most liked photo to your friends distribution by network. It won’t help you find that stalker, but it’s definitely immersive.
If you’re running a Facebook Page with more than 30 Likes, you can use Page Insights to discover some interesting facts about your Page. For example, how many people viewed each of your posts, how many people clicked them, how many comments and shares each post has received, and what times are best to post to reach the most users. You’ll also see some statistics about your Page in general.
You can also set up Google Analytics for your Facebook Page (use our Google Analytics guide to learn more about it), but with all the information Insights provides, you may not need to bother.
You Can’t See Who Viewed Your Profile
And any app, website, video or tip that tells you otherwise, is trying to sell you something you shouldn’t buy.
Did you ever fall for one of these very convincing apps? Do you disagree and still think it’s possible to see who viewed your profile? Share your thoughts below.