The other day, I saw that a friend of mine had shared an interesting image to her Facebook timeline. The image in question displayed a list of her friends and how many times they had viewed her Facebook profile. This led to a bit of controversy in the comments section, as some of the people featured in this image were quick to point out that weren’t viewing her profile and that it was all a pile of BS.
Can you see who viewed your Facebook profile?
I figured that I could answer this question, simply because I am a web developer that has experience with working with the Facebook API. i.e. I know what type of information Facebook has made available to app developers.
OK, so is there an app that can tell you this?
Simply put: There is no way for any app to see who viewed your Facebook profile. That kind of information is not available via the Facebook API and any app that claims otherwise is straight-up lying. Not only that, but they are actually violating Facebook’s platform policy by pretending to be able to circumnavigate the Facebook system.
When you access an app for the first time, Facebook will prompt you to give that app permission to access your profile information. By default, an app is only allowed to access information such as your name, gender, profile picture, etc. i.e. Information that you have made public.
If an app wants to access further information about you, it must specifically ask for the permission to do so. If you check this page, you will see a list of the types of permissions that an app can request. As you read through that list, you will notice that there is no permission for accessing information about who viewed another person’s profile. Why? Because that type of information simply isn’t available. Only Facebook knows who viewed your profile and it will never ever make that type of information available to app developers. They know that if they released that type of information, then people will stop using Facebook as much.
Obviously, many of us would like to believe that we can find out who is stalking our profile, as it would help us figure out who has a crush on us. Unfortunately – this information is not available and any app that claims otherwise is pulling your leg!
How do these apps do it then?
Some of these scam apps are randomly selecting friends from your friends list and then adding fake view counts beside them. This is incredibly easy to do and it really doesn’t take that much effort.
Some of the smarter scam apps will figure out what friends you interact with the most and then use those friends for the result. Why? Because it is more believable that your close friends are viewing your profile than a bunch of people that you haven’t spoken to in years and barely interact with.
To do this, they may ask for permission to see your timeline posts or your photos so that they can check who likes your posts and who comments on them the most. That, or they will simply look at your publicly-available posts (profile pictures). By checking who interacts with your posts, they can get a fairly good idea about who you are closer to. They can then include these people in the result so that it seems more believable.
So there you go! If an app or a website claims that it can tell you who viewed your Facebook profile, they are not telling the truth.