A few days ago I created a poll on Facebook and Instagram asking people if they would buy a feature on Facebook which would enable them to see who has viewed their profile and how many times. A whopping 80% of them said No. Which is well, understandable. But I beg to differ. I think if this feature does come, it can be groundbreaking.

Let me cut right through the chase.

Ever since Facebook hit the market, it has been used and termed as a social media app. And rightly so. Not only is it the most used social media app, but India now forms the majority of its user base. But like every other product, Facebook and Instagram has made a shift in its usage. While a lot of people still use it for its conventional intent – to “let people know what are you up to”; it could be proven that its usage has shifted from just a social media platform to much more.

It has become a normal habit for us to scroll through the feed. And when we see that carousel of “Recommended Friends”, It draws out that metaphorical inquisitive rat in us. Like almost a reflex, we either tap on a profile or scroll through until we find someone who crosses that threshold of inquisitiveness. Or say when you have come right from an event and you overheard someone’s name. It is more often than not that your hands automatically slides to that search bar and you use your “researching” abilities. Quite harmless. Right?

Not quite. While your intentions might be honest, there’s a huge set of people who don’t use it for the same reasons as yours.

“The level of online harassment in India is extremely concerning. Our latest research shows that more serious forms of online harassment including threats of physical violence (45 per cent), cyberbullying (44 per cent) and cyberstalking (45 per cent) are very high,” said Ritesh Chopra, Country Manager, Norton by Symantec, in a statement.

Source: Indian Express

Without delving into technicalities, let me explain what I mean by the premium feature. LinkedIn has this LinkedIn Premium feature which allows its users to see who has viewed their profile among other very helpful features.

In a similar manner, if Facebook and Instagram can provide this feature it would be incredibly helpful to a major part of its users (my opinion).

My argument is pretty simple. It is a two-part argument. Here it goes.

1) Privacy

It is not an alien concept to us of how pervert, offensive and sometimes dangerous people can be on Facebook and Instagram.

This for all you men, ask your female friends of how many creeps/hour do they encounter in their “Others” Inbox or their “DM Requests”. You’ll be surprised. And scared. And then feel disgusted.
Facebook and Instagram do have that option – Privacy Settings and Private Profile. Sure.
(Also, let’s make creeps/hour a thing?)

But that seriously affects your account’s reach. And while it might not make a huge difference to you if you aren’t a creator but if you are; man does it not give you a serious disadvantage.

Let me give you my own example. I have a public profile on Facebook and Instagram. I keep it public because it gives my posts and updates a better opportunity to float on the web. Last year I came across a profile which had stolen my and my friend’s pictures, poems and a few of my posts and was living my/my friend’s life (online). And that is super scary to me. If you are a creator, you know how much of a headache plagiarism is.

Point being, if there was a feature which would have helped me to see who is viewing my profile; I could have reduced the damage.

And this applies to every artist and creator. This feature can genuinely help you to control plagiarism and maintain that privacy without compromising.

Even if you remove that aspect, this can really help you to post things you want to post without worrying about creeps. Just block ’em if you find them suspicious.

2) Reach

Social Media is changing. Everyday. And it is difficult to keep up when the rules change. Facebook and Instagram recently changed their algorithm which can be a small hiccup for medium and large scale brands. However, if you are a small scale brand or an independent artist; Iceberg Alert!

While there have been some major changes in the algorithm; here are two things are very relevant here:

  • The updates from pages will show less on your feed
  • Pages will require to push ads, put relevant content – regularly to keep up

If you’re doubting that this will affects brands then let me show you the result of a small survey by Buffer Social

social media stats about Facebook

This will have two major repercussions – YOUR updates – posts, videos, live videos, etc will have chances to appear more on others’ feed and if you are not too comfortable with ads or don’t have a budget for it yet; your page is going to take a hit.

Entertain the possibility of this feature:
What if you knew who was looking at your profile? Would it help you as a creator?

Everytime I come back from a show, within 24 hours I upload a video of my poem or a piece. This is the perfect time to do so because not only you’re engaging your followers but are also giving a relevant update to the new-found followers. You’re giving them what they probably came for.

Because, you don’t know much.

Who are they?
What if there was a chance to know?
Would you take it?

Do you know how people say I was at Right Time at the Right Place.
Well, what if there was a way to show The Right thing to The Right person at The Right Time.

Won’t it give you a clearer idea of who your audience is but also insights on how to target them?
If used properly, this feature will arguably give better results than Facebook Ads.

There, I rest my case.


This feature won’t make much of a difference to you if you’re just using it for socializing (which indeed is its primary purpose).

It would be better if there was a provision in this feature that the users who have opted for it will have an indication of sorts on their profile. Thus, saving that inquisitive metaphorical rat an embarrassment without affecting your cause.

There’s no doubt that it has its cons. This will change the face of social media marketing. Question is, Do the Pros trumps the Cons?

You tell me.

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