In 2016, Cambridge Analytica admitted to using private information from social media users to craft highly-detailed personas for various political campaigns. Naturally, millions of people were outraged over the misuse of their personal data, only, of course, to be reminded that those cute “personality quizzes” people loved to take were, in fact, phishing attempts by the data conglomerate.
This entire episode opened up questions about data privacy in the digital age: what exactly were the limitations of social media’s privacy protection? What can the platform and other users see about my activities online? How can I find out what type of bread I really am without handing over my personal details?
Over at the Twitterverse, the Cambridge Analytica-gate opened up a very important question from users: can you see who views your twitter?
Can You See Who Views Your Twitter?
No, you cannot see who views your Twitter. But the good news? It works both ways: no one on Twitter can see another users views, whether it’s viewing another profile or viewing a specific tweet. In fact, the only type of activity that other people can see are the ones that individual user’s allow.
If you set your profile to private, virtually no one can see what you’re up to, with all activities like liking tweets or even replying to tweets being hidden from the general public. Again, this works both ways: if another user has their profile set to private, you won’t be able to see anything that they’re doing. By default, your tweets are made public; only by switching to a private profile can you take your tweets out of the algorithm. Any tweet from a public account can be found and viewed by pretty much everyone. It can even be searched if a user knows which keywords to use.
That being said, there is a way to see how many people have viewed a specific tweet. Using the Twitter Analytics page, people can get a general idea of how far a reach their Tweet has and how many impressions (i.e. views) and engagements (i.e. if others interacted with the tweet) their particular Tweet received. But that’s all you’re going to see, hard numbers. The Twitter Analytics page does not show you the individual user profiles of the people who viewed a tweet.
But What About Those Apps and Browser Extensions That Claim They Can Help Me See Who Viewed My Twitter Profile/Tweets?
Nope. None of those work. In fact, at best, they’re just some random piece of code that will probably slow down your browser, and at worst, they’re malware designed to steal even more info from both your social media profile and your physical computer itself. In general, however, try to avoid these third-party apps and extensions as much as possible: they don’t work, and there is a very big chance that they’re either stealing your info to sell to companies, or it’s working as a backdoor for a virus.
There are, however, some extensions that allow you to see when a person with the same extension installed visits your profile, but that’s about the extent of it. But even that is sketchy: for an app or an extension to do this, it needs to be given pretty much unfettered access to all of your browser’s activity, meaning the extension will know what websites you’ve visited, what you did on those websites, what you searched, what you clicked on, what your mouse hovered over, and so on and so forth. A fairly one-sided tradeoff, if you ask us.
Of course, not all third-party apps are horrible: there are some extensions out there that notify you about small changes in your Twitter. These types of apps usually connect to Twitter’s native API, so they’ll be able to notify you about minor updates like losing/gaining followers, and…nope, that’s about all they can do. And note: it just lets you know that someone followed/unfollowed you, it won’t actually tell you who.
Again, you could use Twitter Analytics for numerical data about your Twitter profile. This tool is usually used by digital marketers, brands, and even social media influencers to track their campaigns and make sure that they’re hitting the right market. But, again, speaking of Twitter Analytics…
Can I Use Twitter Analytics to See Who Has Viewed My Twitter Profile/Tweets/Retweets?
No, Twitter Analytics will not let you see who viewed your Twitter profile and/or tweets. It can, however, tell you how many people viewed your profile, but nothing specific. Again, just to reiterate: Twitter Analytics will not tell you who viewed your Twitter profile.
In general, people use Twitter Analytics to figure out the extent of a particular social media campaign that they’re running. This is mostly used by brands and companies to figure out whether or not a specific material is reaching its intended audience, and if said audience is engaging with it. The higher the number for either of those factors, the better it is for the brand (in general). Same goes for social media influencers: the bigger their reach, the more engagements their posts get, the more relevant they become.
For the private user, however, these statistics won’t be much help, especially if you’re looking for a way to see whether or not that person you liked actually viewed your Twitter profile. Sorry, kids, that’s just not how it works.
No, you cannot see who views your Twitter, nor can anyone see if you viewed theirs. If your profile isn’t on private, other users will see it when you tweet, retweet, like, or comment on a post, and vice-versa.
As much as possible, avoid third-party extensions or apps that claim to show you who viewed your profile: they are scams at best, and at worst, they’re malignant links that could compromise your profile.
Twitter analytics is a good way to show you statistical information about your tweets, but it still won’t show you who exactly viewed your profile.