Tracking clicks on Facebook: the scams, the apps and whether we want it?

It’s the sort of app that everyone wants but fears and knows would ruin social networking. Something that lets you track who looks at your page and how often they click on it.

These apps pop up from time to time and run until Facebook find out about them and squash them. I was sent one disguised as an event recently: the informatively-named – “NOW YOU CAN SEE EVERY 1 WHO VIEWS YOUR PROFILE!!” The gist is that you visit: “www.tinyurl.com/whosee” and download what looks like a Mozilla Firefox extension called the Feboz Social Networking Toolbar (also works for IE and Safari).

The event structure and the “invite all your friends” command just ensures the viral spread of the app. They claim here that “now it’s 100% possible to see that views your profile or spying on you”. Anyone know anything about Feboz? only contact details are a query form, I’ll let you know if I hear anything back [UPDATE BELOW]. They have a page on Facebook which claims they have 152,291 registered users and let you track your visitors. Until we hear something back we can safely assume it’s either a scam of some sort or not doing what the text below promises.

facebook tracking

Now defunct Facebook app Top Visitors was a less dodgy version of a clicktracker – it logged how often your Profile page was looked at and by whom. The app also uploaded a hit counter to your Profile page and displayed information about each visitor including how often they have visited, when they last visited, and where they are currently located.

204 fb tracking 2.jpg

Facebook had set up technical blockades to prevent this, but the developer Shaun Walkers found a loophole in the Facebook code which let him insert a tracker in. He explains how he did that in a blog post here. The loophole is now closed and the app doesn’t work, but it is interesting how popular it was: getting 10,000 users in two weeks.

The only authorised example of click-tracking on Facebook can be seen on Facebook fan pages where you can see who’s been looking at and interacting with your fan page by age-range and gender. It’s pretty interesting, but it’s not personal.

Top Visitors developer Shaun Walkers says:
“The one thing I find most perplexing about the whole thing is the fact that Facebook has not yet added such a feature to their platform [...] As far as privacy is concerned, Facebook could leave the feature disabled by default and allow users to enable it at their own discretion through their privacy settings. And including the Visibility capabilities similar to those I included in Top Visitors would provide users with ultimate control.”

Are you sold? What do you think?

Related: Popjam – a Facebook app that hooks you up with randoms on chat

**UPDATE:** message from Feboz in answer to my question about whether you can use Feboz to track who looks at your FB profile:
Dear Anna. Toolbar is used for Signup. And there is an apps which works with Feboz. You can see who views your Feboz Profile on Feboz. its not related or Part of Facebook.
Thanks


**UPDATE 2:** message from Feboz after I asked them if they were aware of or responsible for these events that misrepresent what they do:

Dear Anna. We check and got many complaints about the Events. Those Events are not Created or promoted by Feboz. There are few people who try to get points from those events. And as you talk about picture I just check them they didn’t said that you can see who views your FACEBOOK* Profile. The word Facebook is not used in that event. But again let us clear that those events are not created or promoted by Feboz. and Toolbar is only for Feboz. like you can use feboz from your feboz toolbar. Its easy to use and always in your explorer.

By Anna Leach | February 25th, 2010





Anna LeachTracking clicks on Facebook: the scams, the apps and whether we want it?
  • Anonymous

    I think if you dont want to be seen on facebook dont let your profile go public but Im not sure if I want to know who is looking at me…..

  • http://mmjjjmm kat

    jjjjjjk

  • Tmi

    Kind of like people not knowing.

  • http://123 >

    ?

  • Brittney Campbell

    Hi Anna, Nice post, I read it and also joined this event. as you can see the reply from feboz I do agree with it. If we only talk about this feboz case, I think there is clearly mentioned that this is for feboz only. I have joined many of other group & events like this and they claim profile view on facebook. In your post, in that event you can see they used * and in the end they explain it.. *It works with feboz only. Thanks for awarness.

    • Anonymous

      Wrong. “Clearly mentioned” would be if “it works with feboz only” was written as part of the sentence, rather than qualified by an asterisk at the very bottom of the page. There is not one single, beneficial reason to use an asterisk there. What? They didn’t have room for those five words? The information the asterisk represents is the most important information on the page. Namely, that you are downloading a toolbar that gives you profile statistics about a website you don’t use, from a company you’ve never heard of, and that a google search doesn’t even provide useful information for. I’m guessing the feboz toolbar comes with a brand new trojan. Their way of saying thanks. In fact, the way they concealed the true purpose of the toolbar and snuck that information in at the bottom of the page is actually quite similar to how a trojan finds its way on to your computer.

  • Anonymous

    nklfsjgfhewrughregkre

  • Matthew THomas

    .

  • Matthew THomas

    Yep

  • Des Hopkins

    hi

  • kriz

    !

  • http://www.tinyurl.com/WhoSee Anonymous

    ok..

  • Anonymous

    i like this

  • Brittney Campbell

    I do not agree with you “Anonymous”. Its your point of view. I m still using this toolbar and its perfect and easy to use a social network with evrything you need. I do not need to defend anyone but its my point of view. If we talk about toolbar then it “Truste” approved toolbar. About asterisk I would like to say that its on the top of the page. Every company explains the asterisk in the end of the line. User should read everything before downloading or joining any website. I m scaning my computer after your post but “NO Virus Found in my computer”

  • shinyanna

    hi everyone – got a second update from Feboz which does make it sound like they are a genuine product and just get picked up on by these events which they say they don’t promote or create: [i'll stick this in the article]

    —–>
    “Dear Anna. We check and got many complaints about the Events. Those Events are not Created or promoted by Feboz. There are few people who try to get points from those events. And as you talk about picture I just check them they didn’t said that you can see who views your FACEBOOK* Profile. The word Facebook is not used in that event. But again let us clear that those events are not created or promoted by Feboz. and Toolbar is only for Feboz. like you can use feboz from your feboz toolbar. Its easy to use and always in your explorer.”

  • Michelle

    I just to know if he still tnhinks about me

  • shinyanna

    @Michelle – agh that’s the problem, it would make facebook even more addictive. sometimes though you want to know, it’s best not to, right?

  • http://willow2897@hotmail.com lindsay

    love it

  • Anonymous

    that’s wuz up!!!!

  • eugene

    I think if you dont want to be seen on facebook dont let your profile go public but Im not sure if I want to know who is looking at me…..

  • eugene

    I think if you dont want to be seen on facebook dont let your profile go public but Im not sure if I want to know who is looking at me…..

  • twisted sick 71 F.O.C. the electric eskimo

    who care’s whos lookin at your profile big dang deal your the creepy one i’m willin to bet it’s not like they can see in your basement at what your really doin while your on facebook porn on the side and a industrial size bottle of joy lotion pervatin the whollle world. go outside and talk , interact, with a real person face to face once a week think ya can?

  • patricia mwila kayama

    just curious!

  • Everett Barry Smith

    People are worried about privacy on Face-book. Its a little late for that. As with anything we have less control over our personal info than we would like to think. Once you hit that send button your done. People don’t want to face it, but its true.
    I would like to know who is looking at my profile and would check it daily. Although a lot of the info contained in my profile is set to Only Me, or Friends, it’s on the internet. Once its on it, it aint commen off people. If you think that hitten the delete button does it, you better check some of the old sites you have visited in the past and deactivated accounts or deleted profiles. It’s still there. Sometimes after years. If you don’t want people knowing or seeing then don’t put on the computer!!! DON’T KID YOUR SELVES!

  • natasha

    awsome

  • Anonymous

    this site is good

  • Cherie Ann

    it wud be very nice if i will be able able to see who views my profile coz it will me know who’s interested of knowing me.

  • feps cruz

    i like it

  • The Real

    the best..

  • asile

    good job guys, i like it…

  • ARIANNA

    GOOD JOB. HELP ALOT

  • ARIANNA

    ok good

  • jacob

    is it ok!!!

  • nicola

    i dont care

  • rim

    good

  • IlIlIIlIllI

    out of personal experience, if ur worried about ppl watchin u on facebook, u should delete it, facebook is nuthin but a gossip house, though its handy now n thn,

  • Anonymous

    good idea

  • http://gg allen

    just cerious to see if this wrks

  • Anonymous

    This is a good thing.

  • http://2o10-02-25T11:20:04+00:00 Rachel

    This is good.

  • Anonymous

    This is awesome.

  • Anonymous

    This is awesome,

  • yer dela paz

    i want to know who viewed my account…

  • rocky

    much better,this is interesting..

  • susan

    wiil give it ago

  • lora

    yes i want to know who view my frorile

  • Jan W

    great

  • http://andygill26_@hotmail.com andt

    ty

  • http://bhabes ana

    hi

  • neslie

    it would be great to know those persons who viewed my profile….

  • manuela lagrimas saga

    just wanna know who views my profile

  • jove

    it’s nice you can track down who viewed your profile

  • Anonymous

    this is good

  • jonji

    it’s cool

  • pogi

    good

  • Anonymous

    Who ever is looking is who ever is looking; what are you going to do about it?

  • Anonymous

    Who ever is looking is who ever is looking; what are you going to do about it?

  • Anonymous

    @Brittney – The thing is obviously a scam and is clearly designed to sucker people in to thinking that whatever is installed will allow them to see who views their profile.

    Your scan may not have revealed anything for several reasons. For one, an installed toolbar doesn’t often show up as anything malicious. It may sit there dumping seemingly harmless advertisements on you or managing redirects or simply tracking your activity (things you don’t even really notice or think are part of the page you navigate to). Many tool bars do this kind of thing and some will eventually navigate to a site that *does* put something on your system.

    You ran a scan with what? If you’re lucky (considering this is fairly new) Malwarebytes or Spybot SD will detect something. Also, did you run a simple process monitor to see if there are any unidentified processed running on your computer? You don’t have to take my advice but I’ve been browsing the web since Mosaic was new…I’ve rarely seen a browser toolbar that wasn’t either malicious or a burden. I would disable/remove it if I were you.

  • Anonymous

    @Brittney – The thing is obviously a scam and is clearly designed to sucker people in to thinking that whatever is installed will allow them to see who views their profile.

    Your scan may not have revealed anything for several reasons. For one, an installed toolbar doesn’t often show up as anything malicious. It may sit there dumping seemingly harmless advertisements on you or managing redirects or simply tracking your activity (things you don’t even really notice or think are part of the page you navigate to). Many tool bars do this kind of thing and some will eventually navigate to a site that *does* put something on your system.

    You ran a scan with what? If you’re lucky (considering this is fairly new) Malwarebytes or Spybot SD will detect something. Also, did you run a simple process monitor to see if there are any unidentified processed running on your computer? You don’t have to take my advice but I’ve been browsing the web since Mosaic was new…I’ve rarely seen a browser toolbar that wasn’t either malicious or a burden. I would disable/remove it if I were you.

  • Mani M

    Apps like these are gonna kill Facebook. Why God! Why?!
    What’s with the stupid event update anyway?
    “NOW YOU CAN SEE EVERY 1 WHO VIEWS YOUR PROFILE!! Now”
    Their claim, that Feboz has nothing to do with it, is absurd. I can’t wait for Facebook to get rid of these morons.

  • http://sant.feboz.com febozok

    Kill this application….Morons, its to clear why you are ask to join the events…it does not need anyway if its really good one…STupid makers…morons

  • Zorobot

    Ask yourself this… what’s in it for them? Do you really think they just made Feboz for the fun of it? Do you think they spend tons of money running the site or doing code updates because they just love to blow money? If you think Feboz actually did this out of the goodness of their heart then please return to your village, they’re missing you.

    Of course it is going to redirect you, monitor you, slow your computer down, load more and more junk you don’t want onto your hard drive and eat resources, eventually gain more info on you that you want them to know and most importantly it provides another “back door” into your computer for hackers. Sooner or later you will have your identity or credit card info stolen if you keep downloading “Free” app’s.

  • fight to keep

    awesome.

  • http://www.cygnismedia.com/ Facebook Applications Developer

    I hope you happy and wish you good luck!

  • http://emoticons-facebook.blogspot.com/2011/05/facebook-chat-emoticons.html facebook chat emoticons

    Profile Trackers are against Facebook TOS. The “activate” profile spy, you must first invite all your friends to the group. You will then receive an email with a link that you must click on may it contains malware. according to faceboook terms and cond. it is illigal to use such app
    so even if the technology exist it is not easily available.there are some working scripts which actually work but if ur a rookie at it u should probably not try bcus scripting is also a vry used tool for hacking ,so best is u keep away for ur own safety!!

  • http://www.socialcubix.com/services/branded-page-design-and-development Facebook Page Management

    How would Facebook know that someone was dead? I don’t think they can update their status.

  • http://mobilecubix.blogspot.com iPad App Blog

    People are worried about privacy on Face-book.I am also concerned about my information privacy..

  • http://wsoshop.com WSO

    Indeed facebook is very hot now,and soon will the king of the net,if it is not already.

  • Ty

    This will destroy FaceCrook due to the fact that everyone who spends tons of time on it posting and adding and reading will finally realize no one is reading it or looking at them.No one cares sorry

  • Ty

    This will destroy FaceCrook due to the fact that everyone who spends tons of time on it posting and adding and reading will finally realize no one is reading it or looking at them.No one cares sorry

  • Ty

    This will destroy FaceCrook due to the fact that everyone who spends tons of time on it posting and adding and reading will finally realize no one is reading it or looking at them.No one cares sorry

  • http://www.milwaukeeflowers.info/ Inge Hoffmann

    it is interesting how popular it was: getting 10,000 users in two weeks.