Facebook’s latest feature basically means people will know when you’re stalking them now

By Kirstin Buick
03 April 2017

Anonymously creeping on your ex just got a whole lot harder.

The good folks at Facebook have gone and made anonymously creeping on your kids/high school crush/ex/ex’s new squeeze a whole lot harder.

The latest update of the social media site’s app allows users to upload ‘Stories’ – yes just like Instagram, Snapchat, and (more recently), WhatsApp.

And unlike Instagram’s Story function, Facebook’s take on the option is way more like Snapchat’s in that users can add wacky filters, turn themselves into cats and other random awesome things (sneaky, aren’t they?).

Read more: Facebook just introduced a ‘secret’ second news feed – but only certain people will be able to see it

Sounds great right?

Weeell, there’s a catch. Users who upload stories can see every single person who watches them. Yes, every view is recorded – even if you accidentally tap on their story icon while innocently stalking their profile.

Which puts a bit of  damper on everyone's favourite use for the social media super-site.

As tech news site Mashable’s Damon Beres points out, “Stories don't make sense on a platform with years and years of social baggage.”

“Facebook's algorithms are smart enough to keep your News Feed filled with people and brands you actually enjoy interacting with, but Stories are a bit messier.

Read more: Help, my Facebook profile has been hacked!

“They're supposed to depict you unfiltered, in the moment — which doesn't really work if your audience includes the kid from your middle school English class, your high school economics teacher, someone you slept with once, your best friend, someone you're trying to be friends with, and your boss…”

To give you an idea:

story

On the other side of the coin, seeing that person you’re always stalking’s name pop up on that viewed list could be strangely addictive…

Luckily, you can still view friends’ ‘normal’ photos and videos if you don’t want people to know you’re having a good old gawk at their profile and they’ve just loaded a story, whatever you do – don’t tap on that tempting circular icon…

At least the temptation to tap shouldn’t be too great – it seems very few people are taking to the new function in any case.

“Few people I'm friends with appear to be using Stories to begin with,” Beres adds. “As of this afternoon, I had three to choose from — out of a pool of 943 friends.”



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