Facebook unique identification numbers or Your User ID is a string of numbers that doesn’t personally identify you but does connect to your Facebook profile. You have a User ID automatically, whether or not you choose to create a username. Anyone with the user ID can see your profile, including any public information.
It help other applications personalize your experience by connecting with your Facebook account. When you allow apps to connect with your Facebook account, they can use your user ID to see public information, like your public profile and your friend list. When you run into issues with an app or game, your User ID can help the developer better investigate the problem to understand and address your specific concerns.
Facebook ID, the specific number that was assigned to you when you first joined the site. Facebook assigns each new user a unique identification number. You use this identification number in the Facebook URL to find a user. The user’s profile displays, and you can submit a Facebook friend request or read the user’s Wall posts using the identification number in the URL’s “ID” query string.
On Facebook, an identifier (FB ID) is assigned to most pieces of content. The identifier is a simple positive integer like 12345. You can use the FB ID to cite a piece of content precisely and concisely using the URL fb.com/<fbid>.
Explained below, a publicly visible FB ID is available for many types of content, though not all types. These identifiers can be used (and abused) in interesting ways.
Here are some URLs of various content on Facebook. The FB ID is indicated in bold:
For these top-level types, each item has an FB ID:
- Person (a.k.a. profile, user, timeline)
For these types that are attached to a top-level item, each item has an FB ID:
- Status update (a text post)
FB IDs do not seem to exist for these item types:
- Comment (which is attached to a status/photo/video/album)
- The news feed
- Messages in private messaging
- File attachments in private messaging
How to use, and why
- The main way you use an FB ID is to cite a specific item. For example, it could be a person’s profile or a single photo. The alternative to using an FB ID is resorting to an awkward natural language reference like “that photo where you wore the red shirt” or “that car accident thread from last night”. But there are some subtle points as well.
- When you know an FB ID, you can view the item at www.facebook.com/<fbid>, or even more simply at fb.com/<fbid>. There is no need to edit the number into a structured URL such as /photo.php?fbid=xxx&set=yyy or /JohnSmith/posts/zzz.
- To get the FB ID of a post or photo, look at the timestamp text (e.g. “5 minutes ago”), which is a permalink to that piece of content. To get the FB ID of a person, page, or group you can use https://findmyfbid.in/
- Referring to a person by name (e.g. John Smith) can be very error-prone. For example, many people might have this name, so searching may yield many wrong results. The person might have excluded their profile from public search, which would make them hard to find. By comparison, citing by FB ID is easy and unambiguous.
- For any photo, the URL for the raw image (rather than the photo page with likes and comments) always seems to contain the FB ID, along with other unexplained numbers.
For example, the FB ID of 526270_10151052362543337_2115714767_n.jpg is 10151052362543337. Older photo URLs also contain the uploader’s FB ID, but photos uploaded after a certain date no longer have it. So if you are given a direct photo URL from out of the blue, this is useful for retrieving the conversation thread (if you have the permission to view the thread). And as noted, for earlier URLs you can even retrieve the profile of the user who uploaded the photo.
- The standard link for a photo page includes not only the photo’s FB ID, but extra optional information such as the album (set), type (not sure what it means), theatre mode, and others. The album string usually contains the FB ID of the album and the FB ID of the uploader. For example: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151052362543337&set=a.402126878336.167300.361063578336&type=1&relevant_count=1
- The FB ID of people who registered early have some information about their college/university. Early Facebook users were attached to a certain school, and the school shows up in the prefix (3 digits?) of their FB ID. You can notice this if you collect the FB IDs of many friends and look at ones with the same prefix, or ones who claim to go to the same post secondary school.
- Facebook’s front-end (web page presentation) and back-end (database model) systems are in constant flux. As you can see, I’ve already noted some places where the behavior changed in the last few years. So to make things clear, all the claims on this page are valid at the time of writing (February 2013), to the best of my knowledge.
- However, comments have their own ID space, e.g.: https://www.facebook.com/doorsopenTO/posts/414358988584020?comment_id=5092420&offset=0&total_comments=1
- The act of clicking “Like” does not generate an FB ID. However, likes are associated with the FBID of the item. Moreover, the like list for a comment has an ID that is different from the comment ID and the thread’s FB ID. For example, this is the list of likes for the comment in :
- They still can be found through friend lists, random public activity, Google searching for their exact name string, etc. But these methods are much harder.
- In addition to a numerical ID, most people have a Facebook URL name too (e.g. john.smith.42). This was optional in the past, but in late 2011 Facebook began gradually assigning a URL to each user.