Facebook Stalking Made Easier by New 'Breakup Notifier'

Dennis Faas's picture

A Facebook "relationship notifier" application -- originally designed as a joke -- has proven to be a major hit. The app, which lets users know when a Facebook user changes their relationship status, has been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

The app works in a simple manner: you click a list to confirm which of your existing friends you want to track, and then you receive an email whenever their listed relationship status changes.

Facebook Users Love 'Breakup Notifier'

Aptly named "Breakup Notifier", the Facebook app notifies you if a "friend" on your list changes their relationship status to single.

Of course, it's already possible to simply visit a friend's profile to see their status, but the app saves time for people with a lot of "friends" whom they would like to date, or stalk for that matter.

Mother-in-law Joke Sparks Idea

Developer Dan Lowenherz has openly admitted the inspiration for the app came when "my fiancee and her mom were talking about setting up a nice guy with my fiancee's sister. Unfortunately, said guy is in a relationship. My mother-in-law to be [jokingly] suggested it would be nice to know when the relationship was over." (Source: ycombinator.com)

De-Friending Notification App in the Works

While Lowenherz insists the app was meant as a joke, the huge number of wannabe stalkers appears to have spurred him on. He's also now working on an another Facebook application to let a user know when somebody has removed them from their friends list. (Source: techcrunch.com)

That may prove a more difficult task. At the moment there's no easy or automatic way of finding out when a "de-friending" takes place. While some developers have made apps that simply check a user's friend list each day and look for changes, Facebook has blocked such apps as a violation of its terms and conditions. That's prompted speculation that the site doesn't want people to go through the dispiriting experience of discovering they've been de-friended and then associating this experience with the site. (Source: allfacebook.com)

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