Social Question

Mikelbf2000's avatar

Do facebook profile trackers really work?

Asked by Mikelbf2000 (1121points) February 24th, 2010

Do those profile trackers that allow you to know if someone visits your facebook profile really work or is it just another one of the many rumors?

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3 Answers

buckyboy28's avatar

They do work, but they are also against Facebook’s rules, so they usually only last a day or so before they are removed from the site.

Sarcasm's avatar!/help/?faq=14357

I remember seeing a confessional a while back from someone who had made one of these apps (I have no reason not to trust him). He said that the app literally chose at random from your list of friends, and said that they visited your profile.

Back in my Myspace days, there was a semi-functional visitor tracker system. It required you, as a user, to play a bit of a guessing game.
you signed up on this other site, which was really your command center. On that site, you had an image to put on your profile. This image was unique to your account on that site.

Whenever someone visited your Myspace profile, they of course had to load that image. So on that other site, they now had a timestamp and an IP (They never showed IPs, but rather they gave it a name like Blue 41).
If you went to your “command center”, you would see something like “Blue 41 visited your profile at 5:13pm, Feb 24, 2010”. And you could see a little google maps image of their general area.

Now, with that, you could track how often this anonymous “Blue 41” checked your profile.

But then, if someone managed to leave you a profile comment at the same time as their visit, you could look at that and say “Well. The visit times match up. Clearly, Blue 41 is my best friend John Smith!”. you could then manually assign on that other website to believe that that IP is your friend John Smith’s IP.

This system still leaves for a lot of anonymity, considering not everyone is going to leave comments on your stuff, or you’ll have a few people visit your profile within a short timespan, and then you’d have to do random guessing with whether Suzy Jones, who left you a comment, was Red 92, Green 66 or Lavender 12.
But it did work well for those who you could figure out.

I’m not facebook-tech gifted, but I’m going to stand here and say that is the best you’re going to get for a kind of “who viewed me” app, until someone shows me otherwise.
I guess I could make some dummy accounts and test a few of those apps. I dunno, that’s a bit too nerdy.

noyesa's avatar

I haven’t seen any of the new ones, but the ones I have looked at basically just looked at how many interactions that user had with you (wall posts, comments, apps, etc) and ranked them from top to bottom.

From what I know about the Facebook API, I don’t think there’s any way they could realistically scour that kind of data from the Facebook servers, and certainly not without interacting with your profile in some way (such as an app that tracks which users clicked on it).

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