When Facebook first started out, there were countless sharing scams that tricked users into thinking they could see who has been visiting their profile and browsing their photographs. “Click this link and find out who’s been stalking you,” the posts read which usually led its readers to some scam app that did nothing of the sort. While there is no app that shows you who visited your profile, Facebook undoubtedly knows everything that everyone does and there is a simple way to see if you have a potential FB stalker.
It is not as simple as “person X has recently viewed your profile,” however, it is still fairly telling and a very good way to find out who’s been lurking on your page. It all starts with the friends’ photo box on your own timeline. While many people think the friends displayed in this box are random, the answer is much different.
According to Kite Media, the factors that determine who shows up in this box are as follows:
- Interactions on Facebook. Recently and over time. Recent interactions play a large role, especially if someone has recently viewed your profile page.
- Profile views. They have viewed your profile and/or you have viewed their profile – Total amount of views when compared to other friends profiles viewed.
- Tagged photos. Photos that you’ve been tagged in or have tagged your friends in.
- Wall posts. Has this person posted on your wall recently, or you on theirs?
- Likes. Have they liked your content or have you likes theirs?
- Comments. On your posts or comments you’ve made on your friends’ wall posts or pictures.
- Photos viewed. They have viewed your pictures, and/or you have viewed theirs.
- Currently online. Friends who are currently online or have recently been online. This typically applies for random people that might show up.
- Messenger. Facebook messenger conversations between each other.
- Mutual interactions. Between yourself and your friends will likely play a bigger role in determining who your “closer” 9 friends may be.
- “Close Friends.” If you’ve added friends to your “Close Friends” group, typically at least 2 of these people will be shown in the 9 friends box.
So, by process of elimination anyone can see if they have a stalker by narrowing down people who appear in their friends’ box but do not meet any of the above criteria.
It’s safe to say that if a friend’s photo is showing up on your timeline, but you haven’t had any recent Facebook interaction with them, then, yes, that person has probably been spending a hefty amount of time looking at your profile.
As the report explains, the 9 friends shown in your Facebook Timeline friends box are determined by a number of factors, but mostly they will show friends that you appear to be closer with from interactions on Facebook. These 9 friends may be your closest friends, family members, crushes, Facebook stalkers or just friends that have recently viewed your profile. While the friends’ box will still show some random friends every so often as well, most of the time the larger percentage of friends will be those who you are connected closer with as determined by Facebook’s friend algorithm.
So, if you see that a creepy “friend” is showing up in your box repeatedly and you haven’t messaged or interacted with that person in a very long time, or ever, it most likely means you have a stalker.
The good news is that you can easily put this to a stop. Simply set your entire profile to private (which you should have already done by now) and delete the person as a friend. If this is a coworker or friend of the family and you don’t want to embarrass them by deleting them, you can simply go to Settings: Privacy: and edit your friends’ list to only allow certain friends to see certain things. Problem solved.
The best practice, however, is this simple rule of thumb—if you don’t want some creeper looking at a photo of you or your family—don’t put it on the internet.