Now there's an app to measure your Facebook (un)popularity.
Apps to map your social media gains and losses aren't new — third-party Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram trackers have been around a while. But the relaunched "Who Deleted Me" is for Facebook, where your real "friends" are.
"Who Deleted Me" used to live as a Facebook-based app, until Facebook's changes in April took away its sneaky mojo. Now relaunched as an Chrome extension and iOS and Android app, it's making headlines because we all apparently enjoy pain: install it and you'll know going forward who has unfriended you for your latest rant or picture of your breakfast. You can also see which friends have left Facebook, so that you know a lower count isn't your fault. (If those kinds of things matter to you.)
Of course, there's always been a way to check to see if someone unfriended you: visit their profile. (There have been similar services for Facebook in the past, too.) And keep in mind that "Who Deleted Me" won't be able to show who has unfollowed you — Facebook's equivalent of a shadow ban, wherein you remain "friends" but your content is completely hidden from the "friend's" newsfeed. To me the primary let-down of the app is that it can't trace your entire unfriending history — it only works post-installation. So you won't get data about the last decade you've been on Facebook. If that feature were available, I'd be more intrigued.
As it is, I won't be installing "Who Deleted Me". Aside from reservations about giving over that much personal data to a third-party app, I don't see the point. Its results can only ever be hurtful; Facebook isn't like Twitter and Tumblr, where random strangers follow and it can be fascinating or important to business to see when you gain and lose their interest.
What am I going to do with the information that a high-school "pal" unfriended me? Feel like I'm back in high school, probably. With other unfriends, I can only see it spiralling into self-doubt or self-righteous anger. How many fights and even IRL disagreements is "Who Deleted Me" going to lead to? Do we really need an app for this?