Ah, social media. Whether you love it or consider it a major invasion of your privacy, you have to admit, its immediacy, and posting options are second to none. Now sharing information as personal as what you are making for dinner, how your baby looks in their new outfit, or simply asking those in your network (and often beyond) where to buy live lobsters takes a matter of seconds. Best of all these ‘visits’ do not incur any expenses nor require you to leave your premises.
Today there are dozens of social media outlets and platforms. Yet Facebook remains the most used social network with over 1.74 BILLION users. That’s 1,740,000,000 users drawn out for some extra context. Historically many users have Facebook pages that serve as business accounts so connecting their phone numbers and other contact information is second nature. This makes Facebook a huge database of personal phone numbers.
As with most new online venues, it did not take long for opportunists and others to learn how to harvest personal information for their own gain, usually at the expense of yours. While there was a time when you could find users’ phone numbers via Facebook’s own search bar, that option has been rescinded. You see after the news of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica Scandal, (spoiler, it was a major data breach) the tech giant took numerous steps towards making the social network more secure and sensitive to users’ private information. This ranged from stricter advertising policies to overall data availability.
So can you still perform some form of the Facebook phone number search?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. That has made it tricky to locate and contact other Facebook users.
As of March of 2018, Facebook removed their notorious phone number search feature as one way of appeasing users and critics. Remember, while this feature did make it easier for users to find their friends and family, there have also been claims of people abusing the feature to extract personal information for malicious reasons.
Where There’s A Will, There’s Usually a Way
The good news is that there are alternatives to the Facebook phone number search. While you may not be able to actively search for phone numbers among Facebook users, you CAN search for phone numbers and see if they are on Facebook. It’s something like a reverse Facebook look up, if you will. Another positive aspect of this search option is that it is completely legit, and can be easily performed without guilt or fear of reprisal. If you are looking up an old classmate, the kids you grew up with, or that real estate attorney your neighbor recommended, for this, we recommend Kiwi Searches.
Visit them and simply enter the phone number you’re looking for in the search bar towards the top of the page. Give the site a minute or two to load the phone number lookup and see if the number is registered with Facebook. The only downsides are that one is limited to phone numbers registered on the site, and that the service is not free of charge. Costs will vary, however the first phone number search is only $0.95.
Unheard of 20 years ago, Social Media, much like the internet, has become a daily staple in most of our lives. Another great feature of this means to facilitate locating people, is that once your friend, contact, or former neighbor has been found, approached, and friends you back, you have made or rekindled a potentially beneficial and mutually-rewarding connection online. Give it a try!