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Tracking Profile Views on Facebook

So, you want to know who views your Facebook profile, huh? Well, with current Facebook privacy settings in place, finding a way to view profile visits can be easier said than done. Profile trackers, counters, and numerous other “solutions” have been posed to the Facebook community since its launch in 2006. Most of these are fleeting, fly by night solutions that often contain a virus, which is your only reward for trying to track your profile views. Here are some things to consider, however, if you really want to know the ins and outs of who is “stalking” you.

1. Applications

No doubt in your time on Facebook, you’ve seen the applications that allow you to rate your friends, find your “biggest fans” and showcase your followers. While these are best suited for entertainment purposes only, these applications draw from the “rules” of Facebook when it comes to interaction. For example, the more you interact with someone’s profile by liking status updates and commenting, you are considered a big fan, at least according to the rules of applications that can only draw on data for a limited amount of time. If you simply want a profile counter, the best way to accomplish this is contact an application developer to provide content for your profile directly using smart snippets of code. However, this is going to cost you, and the results can be varying and fleeting based on Facebook’s site upgrades, and how long material remains live and accessible.

2. Write your own

As opposed to hiring a lackey to write your own code snippet, let’s say (for the sake of example) that you are a tech wiz, and you are capable of writing your own code. Again, your efforts may be short-lived, even if you provide the correct tracking material within your code for profile views, as Facebook is constantly upgrading and updating security measures and profile privacy settings.

3. Consider the futility of the effort

As it stands, there is no “stand alone” solution for counting visits to your profile page. Facebook hosts it’s own proprietary tracking material, which doesn’t offer a lot of wiggle room for application developers and gurus of coding. The truth is, the data you might receive in the short time you are able to count profile views, can be skewed, as many users out there, have more than one account. Also consider, data on Facebook is constantly changing, evoloving and being added and removed, making it nearly impossible to log data for over 500 million people.

For private users, counting visits seems a futile effort. For business owners with group or fan pages, the best solution out there so far are the weekly reports provided by Facebook allowing page administrators to count active users on a page. In other words: promote, promote and promote some more, but don’t expect to get day by day tracking results. Facebook just isn’t going to have that, at least not now.

When looking to the future, it’s possible that Facebook might see fit to offer users a “total number of times” a profile has been viewed (circa Myspace) but with all of the other requests, demands and complaints from 500 million “friends”, I wouldn’t count on it.


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