Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

This guy has built the creepiest Facebook app ever


According to John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie's Christmas classic, it's Santa Claus who knows when you've been sleeping, and knows when you're awake.

Søren Louv-Jansen has a pretty good idea as well. 

The digital developer has developed a "simple" piece of source code that can read Facebook's Messenger app to determine when your contacts are most likely to be asleep and awake.

Louv-Jansen was fascinated by Facebook's ability to keep a record of when your friends are active, with the Messenger service giving you a precise time when they were last online. "I was curious about where this data was coming from," he writes on his blog, "and after some digging found...  a list of user ids and timestamps of last activity."

He created a piece of software that can read this information from his Facebook account every ten minutes, gradually compiling a picture of when his friends (soon to be former friends) use the service.

"Many people visit Facebook as the first thing in the morning, and the last thing before going to bed. It is therefore possible to get a good impression of their sleeping habits (or lack thereof)," he explains.

There are two possible reactions to this impressive build. The first is to say "Well sure, most of my friends sleep between 11pm and wake around 7am. That's normal, and not a big deal." The second, as Louv-Jansen puts it, is to realise that we're leaving quite a telling digital footprint behind:

"Everybody I’ve shown this to have been equally fascinated and outraged by the accuracy with which it predicts their sleep habits. In this digital world we leave footprints where we go, and when we do it, without even thinking about it. Facebook might block this little 'hack', so your friends no longer can track you, but Facebook will always be able to do their own data analysis which is undoubtably way better than what I’ve come up with. They are likely using this data for profiling, and creating more user-specific ads."

Sweet dreams.


Fidget spinners might contain deadly levels of lead

Is your toy slowly poisoning you to death?

by Gary Ogden
02 Jun 2017

We might be about to get smartphones that charge fully in five minutes

An Israeli start-up claims it's going to go into production next year

by Tom Mendelsohn
15 May 2017

5 of the best fidget toys on the market right now

Tackle your knuckle cracking head on

by Matt Tate
10 May 2017

Some Italians have created a phone cover that also makes espresso

No, we don't know why either

by Tom Mendelsohn
08 May 2017

New app will rebalance the London rental market in favour of landlords

Finally, the capital's hard-up property owners will get their due with Rentberry

by Tom Mendelsohn
26 Apr 2017

This knife-toting robot playing stabby hand will make you nervous

I for one welcome our new robot overlords

by Tom Mendelsohn
25 Apr 2017

Now you can turn your iPhone into a retro mac

For the man who has everything

by Tom Mendelsohn
21 Apr 2017

The best turntables of 2017

How the tables have turned

by David Cornish
20 Apr 2017

The Tamagotchi is back

Great news for fans of neglecting responsibilities and watching tiny creatures literally shit themselves to death!

by Emily Reynolds
11 Apr 2017

Self-healing smartphone screens could exist by 2020

Could it be curtains for shady smartphone repair stalls across Britain?

by Tom Mendelsohn
05 Apr 2017