Facebook users often wonder, "How can I see who looked at my Facebook profile?" This type of curiosity is common, and it's easy to understand why such functionality could be in demand. Facebook, however, sees it differently.
Reasons for Wanting to Know Who's Been on Your Profile
There are a number of reasons for wanting to know who's been visiting your Facebook profile page. Some of these include:
- Simple curiosity: Maybe you just wonder how many of your friends are checking in on you, or what strangers are landing on your profile.
- Parents watching their kids: If your children are on Facebook, it would be handy to know who is looking at their profiles.
- Searching for more friends: Seeing who has been visiting your profile page can alert you to other people you know who are using the service, and whom you may want to send a friend request to.
How Can I See Who Looked at My Facebook Profile?
No matter what your reasons for wanting this information, the simple answer to the question, "How can I see who looked at my Facebook profile" is that you can't.
Facebook has addressed this question in its Help Center, saying "Facebook does not provide a functionality that enables you to track who is viewing your profile." This section goes on to specify that you can't track any other elements of your profile either, such as photos or videos.
The reason that this functionality is not available is because Facebook has to respect the privacy of its users. If you can see who has been landing on your profile, those people have had their privacy breached.
Third Party Applications
One of the main draws for many Facebook users is the availability of third party applications. These add-ons offer games, photo sharing, music and video capabilities, quizzes, and all kinds of other activities and enhancements to the basic Facebook experience.
Some third party applications claim to do things that they simply don't or can't. There have been several applications that say they can tell you exactly who has been visiting your profile page, but all of them have turned out to be scams. The fact is that there is no real way to track and provide this information to users.
Facebook strongly discourages this type of application, and clearly states that they will remove any program that claims to track visits.
Applications Causing Harm
If these applications can't deliver on what they claim, then it can be puzzling to try and figure out why they exist in the first place. Many of the creators of the fake applications are hoping to make a quick profit, either by advertisements or by collecting and selling the personal information of the people who use them. Users must agree to allow the application access to their profiles, where this information is then readily available for harvesting.
Other applications are more malicious, containing malware, adware, or even viruses.
These applications seem to pop up faster than Facebook can remove them. They spread across the network of users by sending out invitations to the friends of anyone who signs up for them, reaching hundreds of people every hour.
If you're concerned that people may be getting information from your profile without your knowledge or consent, you can tighten up your privacy settings at any time. Just sign in, then click on the "Account" button on the top right of the page. From there, click on "Privacy Settings."
You can set the privacy controls for every aspect of your account to three different access levels:
- Everyone, meaning anyone can see it
- Friends of Friends, meaning that the friends of your approved friends have access
- Friends Only, meaning only those you have approved as friends have access
While it may be disappointing to learn that you can't keep track of everyone who is visiting your Facebook profile, it can be reassuring to know that Facebook is limiting this functionality in order to preserve your privacy on the network.