Here’s a tip: don’t post direct links to your Facebook photos, that is if you don’t want others to discover your Facebook profile.
I’ve been checking out the local IRC channels and I see people posting links to their Facebook photos. These people think that by posting the direct URL (web address) to their photos, they prevent people from finding out their Facebook profile. Well, it turns out that it’s quite easy to do just that. The URL of photos in Facebook actually contains the user ID of the person who uploaded the photo.
To give an example, here’s a photo of Migs (the Manila Gay Guy) on Facebook:
And here’s the URL of that photo:
I know this URL is for a photo on Facebook because of the “fbcdn” in the URL. This stands for “Facebook content delivery network” and a CDN (hosted by Akamai) lets Facebook serve billions of photos quite fast to users’ computers.
Near the end of the URL is a bunch of numbers: 5 sets separated by underscores. The third one is the key here and it represents the Facebook user ID of the person who uploaded the photo:
Take this number and place it like this:
And, voilà! You now have the web address to the photo’s uploader’s Facebook profile!
If you don’t want to compromise your Facebook profile, just post your photos elsewhere. PictureTrail is a popular site among local PLUs. Or you can create an account on PlanetRomeo, which seems to be the reigning gay social network for Filipinos.