Friend-Watch is a new Facebook application that stalks your friends list, watching for changes you might not otherwise notice. This includes things like people who change their name, add you as a friend, deactivate their account, restore their account, delete you, block you or unblock you. It also tracks general trends, like friend counts and gender breakdowns. In short, it’s like analytics program for your personal Facebook profile.
McGrath previously created the now-banned app “Who Isn’t My Friend?” This former app, which notified you when someone “unfriended” you, quickly ended up on Facebook’s blacklist since Facebook frowns on “unfriend-ing” trackers. But this time around, McGrath says he talked to Facebook first, adjusting the application according to its guidelines.
The new app is more analytics-focused, plotting things like the number of friends you have versus the average number of friends for the typical Facebook user, breakdowns of friends by gender and, soon, a map showing where your friends live. This is in addition to the above-mentioned tracked items, like the blocks, deactivations and name changes.
There are a few important gotchas about the application, that we must point out. For starters, the app defaults to automatically posting to your wall when you “unfriend” someone. That may not be something you want to advertise. To change this, you’ll need to head into the app’s Settings section and switch that to “off” by hitting the “Toggle” link. You may want to toggle off the daily summary email.
The app also includes ads that appear as you switch screens as well as banners at the bottom. It’s a bit of overkill, considering that it nags you for donations, too. Still, we’ll give Friend-Watch a pass thanks to the sheer fun we’re having checking out our Facebook stats…and the convenience of passively stalking changes with our friends.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...