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How Facebook Stories makes it easier to catch a profile stalker

Facebook has always made sure that it’s impossible to see who’s been lurking on your profile. But that’s no longer the case, thanks to the addition of Facebook Stories.

In a bid to take on Snapchat, Facebook began rolling out Facebook Stories at the end of March. The new feature lets you save videos and images to a “story”, which can then be perused by your friends.

But the important point to note about Facebook Stories is that it’s the first time your viewing habits won’t be kept secret. If you watch someone’s story, they’ll know about it – just as is the case with Facebook-owned Instagram.

In fact, you’ll even be able to tell which individual videos and images within the Facebook Story have been viewed by friends.

The move marks a major change to the way Facebook operates, as technically “anonymous” browsing has always been an integral part of the service. Back in 2011, Andrew Bosworth, Facebook’s Director of Engineering, replied to a Quora post confirming that Facebook would never offer a LinkedIn-style feature that allows you to see who’s viewed your profile.

And on Facebook’s own help centre, the company offers the following guidance: “Facebook doesn’t let people track who views their profile. Third-party apps also can’t provide this functionality. If you come across an app that claims to offer this ability, please report the app.”

Facebook’s addition of Stories comes after the company already added a similar feature to its other two apps, Instagram and WhatsApp. It’s all in an effort to reduce the market share of rival service Snapchat, which touts Stories as its main feature. That said, Facebook already dominates the social media landscape, boasting north of 1.2 billion daily active users, compared to Snapchat’s ~158 million daily active users.

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What do you think of Facebook Stories? Let us know in the comments.

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