Tell me that you also find your crush’s profile icon across most of the social media applications like Facebook and Instagram on your phone. As much as we like seeing the face that makes our hearts flutter, it’s also quite eerie to feel like they’re following us around no matter which app we use at the time of day. The question is do Facebook and Instagram know who your crush is?
My suspicion is that Facebook and Instagram know the exact person/s we’re interested in. Not only do these social media apps use the data we provide from our posts, but they also track our behavior and actions while we’re inside the apps. The more information we provide and the more time we spend on our smartphones, the more personal data about us is being stored for the capitalization of this massive corporation. Facebook and Instagram know us better than we know ourselves, so it would be no surprise that they know the person we like.
- Why Do I Keep Seeing My Crush on Facebook and Insta?
- Do Facebook and Instagram Know Who Your Crush Is?
- How Does The Internet Use Our Personal Data?
- Newsfeed - Why Do I See My Crush's Posts First?
- Data Tracking - How does Facebook know all of this information?
- Stories - Why is My Crush's Story First on My Row?
- Story Views - Why is My Crush at the Top of My Story Views?
- Yes, Facebook and Instagram Know Who Your Crush Is!
- I Hope You Guys Enjoyed Reading!
Why Do I Keep Seeing My Crush on Facebook and Insta?
It’s normal to notice our crushes. These one-sided romantic feelings can drive us to think about them often or yearn for them to appear from time to time. Psychologically it makes sense, but if you shift to an online setting, having the face of the person you like greeting you every time you open an app like Instagram and Facebook can get quite alarming.
Let me paint for you guys the exact scenario that I’m currently facing. Whenever I open Instagram, my crush’s story is the first one lined up on my row. When I check who’s viewed my IG story for the day, his icon would be right at the top even if he wasn’t really the first one who saw it.
On Facebook, I bet I’m one of the first people his new posts appear to, ready for my heart reacts. If you take a peek at my Messenger app (which no one should do because it’s not right to read other people’s messages), you can clearly see his icon with the bright green dot indicating that he’s online. It’s like the app is challenging me to chat with him! I’m too much of a coward to start a conversation though, fearing being only left as “seen”.
Do Facebook and Instagram Know Who Your Crush Is?
Why exactly does this happen? How do Facebook and Instagram know who our crushes are? What do Facebook and Instagram do with the personal data that we provide to them and should we be scared? These are just some of the questions that this blog would hopefully come up with answers to. Let’s find out if Facebook and Instagram are really smart enough to know our heart’s truest desires.
Just a disclaimer: this article is in no way a credible research paper. You have been warned! Yes, I am a Digital Marketer by profession who’s taken courses such as “How Marketers Collect and Use Your Data”, but the purpose of this write-up is more for entertainment than for spreading information you can cite on your thesis. Like, who even openly talks about his sad love life for academic purposes? I will say though that out of the many blogs I’ve written for my website, this particular piece is where I went down the research rabbit hole the deepest.
How Does The Internet Use Our Personal Data?
To start off, I think you guys should first be introduced to the concept of cookies. Cookies are “small pieces of code that are added to users’ web browsers as they visit different websites” according to this article by MNI on What do Cookies Do for Digital Marketers. Whenever you visit a new website and “Accept” its cookies, you are giving them permission to track your online activities. Cookies don’t store your name, email address, or phone number, but they do retain your age, gender, location, interests, and behavior across all of the websites you visit and keywords you use in search engines. This data is then being used by companies for target marketing and to serve advertisements more relevant to your needs as a consumer.
Here’s an example to help you guys understand. For my website, Google Adsense is turned on and the types of ads you’re seeing are specifically catered to the cookies stored in your browser. These cookies have been tracking your online activities from the websites you visit, the words you search for, the videos you watch, and even the items currently in your online shopping cart.
Let’s say for someone like me who’s read a ton of blogs about dating and relationships, the types of ads that I’m seeing now are for dating apps. The online ads know how much I want a relationship and since the key to good advertising is repetition, they’re displaying the ad again and again whenever I visit my own website. Sometimes, the same ads even follow me across the internet until I eventually give in and just sign up for the dating app.
Newsfeed – Why Do I See My Crush’s Posts First?
How does Facebook determine which posts show up on your newsfeed? Why do we immediately see our crush’s posts the second they publish them? You see according to the same article stated by Hongkiat, the posts you see on your newsfeed are based on three major sources. The first one is Interaction with your friends – the friends you chat with frequently will show up first on your feed. The second one is the Type of Content You’re More Likely to Enjoy – the kinds of content: pictures or videos that you like, comment on, or share often will appear in your news feed. The last one would be the Activities on a Certain Post – if certain posts get lots of likes and comments, they will show up on people’s newsfeeds.
Data Tracking – How does Facebook know all of this information?
It almost seems like Facebook “knows what you are going to say, do—or buy—even before you do and that is because Facebook collects a lot of data” according to this article by Forbes on All The Ways Facebook Tracks Your and How to Stop it. Well, it tracks everything from your engagement: likes, shares, and comments to the amount of time you spend watching or reading a certain post to the specific people you most frequently chat with on the messenger app.
And you can actually verify this yourself by opening the Facebook App on your phone. Go to Activity Log under Profile Settings of your account. Under Logged Actions and Other Activity, you will see a detailed list of all of your activities while you’re using the app.
It doesn’t stop there actually. Facebook also keeps has an eye on what we do on other apps on your phones as well. They do this using Facebook Connect which you might recognize as the “Log-In with Facebook” pop-up when you’re registering in a new app. If you choose that option, Facebook can now track whatever you’re doing on that app.
This article from Wired titled All the Ways Facebook Tracks You—and How to Limit It said it best: “Facebook stalks you to see what you like”. Instead of their original goal of connecting people together, they’re capitalizing on people by selling their personal information to companies who would like to target ads on specific user profiles to make more money off of them! Now, I’m not sure if Facebook will find a way to capitalize on my feelings for my crush, but I at least hope that we’ll be together already before that happens!
Stories – Why is My Crush’s Story First on My Row?
When you first open Instagram, you immediately notice if your crush has posted a new story because their icon is the first one on your row. Of course, you can’t wait to watch it! I mean, I understand guys! Self-control is not a concept I am familiar with when it comes to matters of the heart. If you stop and think though, why is your crush’s story always first up?
Well, here’s how the Instagram Story algorithm works according to this article from Alphr on How Does Instagram Choose The Order of Stories. Instagram Stories looks for this thing called “signal” which is more of the summation of 4 aspects of your behavior on the app. The first one is Interest – accounts you manually search for or profiles you frequently visit. The second is Interaction – the exchange of likes, comments, and direct messages between the two accounts. The third one is Timeliness – the newest stories will show up first. The last one is Experience – your repeated actions or if you keep tapping on their stories right away, they will show up first.
If you think about it, we tick all boxes when it comes to our crushes. I definitely visit my crush’s profile maybe once a week. I seldom message him, but I’m sure to like his posts on the rare chance that he posts a new picture. His new stories are always first in my rows even if there are still stories from my other friends that I haven’t watched. And more importantly, I keep tapping and watching his stories first. Instagram has noticed how often I repeat this action. I’ve given the app signals and it has figured out what I want. That I want him. Hahaha.
Story Views – Why is My Crush at the Top of My Story Views?
We film 15-second videos or snaps of our day and post them on our Instagram Stories with a 24-hour expiration. Do we post these with the intention for that one person to see them? Yes. Don’t deny it. You guys are in the same boat as me. Every hour, we keep checking if our crush has viewed our story, and sometimes, we see them at the top of our viewer list for some reason. I’m sorry to spoil it for you though. The reason they’re at the top of our list isn’t that they pay so close attention to us.
Elite Daily’s article on An Expert Explains What It Means When A Crush Watches Your IG Stories, the reason your crush is at the top of your list is that their’s is the account you’re most interested in or interact the most with. The first fifty viewers of your story will be listed in chronological order by who viewed your story first. After your viewer count passes 50, the accounts will be listed according to the accounts you’re most interested in. So yeah, your crush isn’t stalking you. You’re the one stalking them.
Yes, Facebook and Instagram Know Who Your Crush Is!
So, the final answer to the question: if Facebook and Instagram know who your crush is – Yes, they do. We voluntarily share so much data about ourselves on these apps and they even track every tap on our screen and every keystroke on our keyboard. But on the bright side, they have too much data about us at their disposal already that I think the people we like aren’t as valuable of information to them. The only ones who might care about if these apps know who our crushes are are us.
But I bet if you happen to see your friends’ Facebook or Instagram accounts, you’ll know right away who their crushes are based on whoever’s face shows up right when they open the app. Care to confirm my hypothesis? Haha!
As for me, you might accuse me of maybe spending too much time stalking my crush’s profile. Maybe I chat with him too often or look at his pictures longingly hoping that he someday be mine. I will not admit nor deny this claim. I say, to each his own! Maybe I’ll blindly believe that it was destiny working its way through technology to bring two soulmates together. As a hopeless romantic who believes in signs and the universe and all of that stuff, I would rather accept this explanation than the hard facts I’ve just gone through. Hahaha.
But in all seriousness, Facebook and Instagram are powerful applications that have forged their way into our everyday lives already. It’s the digital age and technology is advancing further and further as more time passes by. I would just like to remind you guys to be careful with the data that you share online because it could always be used against you. If you guys want to learn how to protect your data, you may check out any of the articles that I’ve cited on this blog.
I Hope You Guys Enjoyed Reading!
I’m not sure if you guys learned anything from reading this blog, but I hope that you at least had a great time! I had so much fun writing about this. It’s been a while since I had to do somewhat of research where I actually cited credible sources. If I were the professor who received a paper like this, I would immediately fail the student. That’s why if you like enjoyed this article, maybe you can share it with your friends or let me know what you think in the comment section!
If you’re curious about what I’m going to do with my crush since Facebook and Instagram are obviously pushing us to be together, I’m keeping my mouth shut. I think the internet and social media have had enough of my personal information. Also after having my soul sucked dry from online dating apps, I’m kinda so done with digital romances. I want my love story to happen in the real world and I’m feeling really good about it! It’s so much more magical when you just let things happen. Be patient and let time lead you to those moments when you slowly fall in love.
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