Does a Person Know if You Have Looked for Them on Facebook?

By David Nield

Any searches you run on Facebook are kept private.
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Facebook does not allow you to know who has viewed your profile or who has searched for you on the network. In the same way, if you look for someone else, they won't be able to tell -- people searches, together with any other searches you run on Facebook, are kept private and are not shown to anyone else.

Your Search History

Go through to your Timeline on Facebook and click the "Activity log" button, then select the "Search" option to see a list of recent searches you've run on the site -- click "More" if you can't see it. Note the "Only Me" padlock and "Hidden from Timeline" symbol -- no one is able to view this search history except you, nor is it possible for anyone to know which profiles you've been viewing. You can remove items from the list by clicking the "Hidden from timeline" button and choosing "Remove."

Looking for People on Facebook

Looking for existing friends or new contacts on Facebook is straightforward -- begin typing a name into the search box at the top of the page, and select the correct match or choose the "See more results" link at the bottom. The amount of information visible on each Timeline depends on the individual's privacy settings and whether or not you're a confirmed friend. Facebook's privacy settings also enable you to hide your profile from searches completely.

Your Closest Contacts

Facebook does use some information -- such as who you interact with on a regular basis -- to determine which friends appear more prominently in the news feed and at the top of the list in the chat sidebar. Facebook also provides a "Close Friends" list you can use to receive notifications about those friends you are most interested in. None of your friends are able to tell where they are in your chat sidebar or what lists they appear on, and none of these features take profile views into account.

Third-Party Tools and Services

Any third-party app or service promising to show you who has viewed your Facebook profile isn't genuine. Facebook has confirmed there is no method for finding out who has searched for a particular person or viewed a particular profile. You can report an application on Facebook if it promises this functionality.