Anyone who has ever seen the infamous “…” that symbolizes someone writing a comment pop up on a Facebook post, only to have no comment materialize, understands how frustrating it is not to know who’s looking at your profile.
We post on Facebook to stay close to our friends and family, but unless someone likes or comments on your posts, there’s no way to knowing who actually sees what you post. Or is there? While Facebook’s algorithm ensures your reach is limited—by showing your posts to a small circle of your friends who have engaged with your posts previously—there’s no shortage of third-party apps out there that claim to answer the question “ who visited my Facebook profile.”
People naturally want to know who’s secretly crushing on their Facebook page. So we tested the best method for supposedly finding who’s looking at your Facebook page and checked out some third-party apps to find out what’s really possible. Here’s what we learned, and how to try it yourself.
Who visited my Facebook profile?
According to the hundreds of tutorials online, including some from well-known and respected sites, here’s how you see if someone is looking at your Facebook.
1. Go to your personal Facebook page and view source
To see your actual page, click your name next to the Home link at the top of the Facebook page.
Once on your Facebook homepage, right-click the background of the page and select View Source.
2. Activate webpage search
A website’s source code will look like gibberish to most users, making it hard to find whatever you’re looking for. Activate your browser’s search function by pressing Ctrl + F on your PC or Cmd + F on your Mac. In the search bar type InitialChatFriendsList.
3. Look up the user ID numbers under InitialChatFriendsList
Under InitialChatFriendsList, you will see a long list of numbers, which represent people’s profile IDs. They look like this “XXXXXXXXXX-2.” That big block of red in the image? That’s where you’ll find your friend’s identification numbers. Just copy and paste each number into your address bar, minus the zero, like this, “www.facebook.com/XXXXXXXXXX.” without the -2. While you have to enter each number manually, this list will supposedly show you who visits your profile the most.
Does it work?
We individually looked up the first 25 people in our InitialChatFriendsList and directly asked them, “Hey, when was the last time you looked at my page?”
The first result on my InitialChatFriendsList hadn’t visited my page in two weeks. The second hadn’t looked in months. The third had visited it that very day. The 14th had visited it three weeks earlier. The 25th couldn’t remember ever looking at my page at all since we became friends. What did all 25 of these people have in common? We all interact with one another during the week.
We like each other’s posts and talk over Messenger. We do interact, so yes, in one regard InitialChatFriendsList does probably tell you who you’re interacting with on Facebook, but not in a way that can be tracked via any real useful metrics. You can’t tell who is stalking your Facebook but not interacting with you via this method.