Facebook is a very small social platform that does not allow non-users to browse and view Facebook profiles and a good part of the content. However, some aspects of Facebook are made public and you often log into Facebook via strategic search tactics and the public section of directory listings.
Otherwise, you can’t search deep into profiles without having an account and even a friend link to the specific profile.
Access FB: Search the web
Finding specific content via Google or Bing or another web search is an easy option to view Facebook without an account or any access skills. The key is to specify content as Facebook only when searching. To make this happen, type your search as Facebook.com, [query di ricerca] and will return the results specifically from the social platform.
For example, if you want to view a public figure or personal profile, type Facebook.com, [nome della persona] and press “Enter” to view the results. Through the web search, public profiles are listed, including public figures, athletes and well-known personalities, but also some personal profiles. The profile will not appear in search results if the individual has set their own personal privacy controls to limit visibility. Each account holder has the ability to make their profile available for search or hide the profile from search engines and can also limit visibility to other Facebook users.
Business groups and business listings can also appear in general search results. However, group content is unlikely to be displayed, and most groups require a profile and approval from administrators to view and interact with this content. Business listings are usually available for search results and will display your phone number, address, and other basic information such as your web address. Business listings are generally less relevant to search because they are also often listed in the Google directory, especially when linked to a physical address.
Social networks have a lot of data, and social search engines are designed to specifically sift through and sort this mass of information. They are useful for locating Facebook-specific information without an account, although only publicly available surface information will be displayed. The main advantage of using a specific search engine for social networks is the ability to narrow the scope of the search with features such as location information. There are a number of free search engines available, each offering a slightly different angle of search capabilities.
Locating a person via social search is simple by name, but common names can fetch hundreds and even thousands of results. Use a location-specific search engine to quickly narrow down your results while focusing on your search goal. Again, the person must have a profile with security settings that allow public search, otherwise they will not appear on specific web or social search engines.
Some social search engines also offer the ability to return results based on specific hashtags and topics. These are useful for being able to view general content without having a Facebook account. They may offer a Facebook-specific content filter, but it’s not uncommon to return results on a variety of social platforms either.
Facebook without account: directory
The Facebook directory does not require an account to perform surface level searches for people, groups and pages. You must enter a Captcha to prove that you are not a robot but can search freely after gaining admission to the directory. Type facebook.com/directory in your web browser to get started with this search process.
The results returned by the directory are similar to those found in the search results. It will show all publicly available content limiting the content available to account holders only. Although the content is limited, you can locate people, view some page content, and access limited group information using the directory search capabilities.
How to see a Facebook profile without an account
Searching in Facebook profiles is possible with limited access for people without an account. Access to view Facebook profile information largely depends on the privacy controls set by the profile owner. Some Facebook profiles are accessible via general search engines, while others are private and difficult to access by Facebook users.
User privacy settings
The privacy settings used by the owner of the Facebook profile ultimately determine accessibility by other users and non-users of Facebook. These settings can block all but those chosen by the owner, or they can be opened to general search engines for a public view. Levels of controls allow the profile owner to easily restrict access.
If your account is set to maximum privacy levels, finding and viewing your profile is impossible unless you have a direct connection with the user. At best, the profile shows the name and a photo but only for other Facebook users. An account with mid-level privacy controls allows for greater access and is likely to show limited information for users and non-users, unless they specifically choose to remove search settings.
Mid-tier accounts tend to show some photos, posts, and general information without revealing the entire account. It is a limited view of the profile, intended as sufficient information to determine if the contact is known and should be added as a friend.
A foolproof way to log into an account is to create a Facebook account and befriend the person with the desired profile directly. If the user agrees, you can view photos, posts, and account information.
General search engines
Search engines list a Facebook profile if the user leaves the search engine settings active. Finding the profile requires knowing the profile name and, ideally, the position. Open Google, Bing or any other search engine and type the person’s name and location in this format: “facebook.com, username, city, state”. Press “enter” to retrieve the results.
The search query can retrieve one or more names that match the association, and you must examine and view each of the results to see the profiles. After clicking on the search result, the web browser opens to Facebook and shows the profile, probably in a limited view. Expect to see a profile photo and some aspects of the account, but not the entire account without having your own Facebook profile.
You can also use social-specific search engines to achieve the same result. The social search option retrieves the same profiles and profile information as a general search engine, but the query process is designed to be more intuitive for social profile searches.
View Facebook profiles
Facebook offers a profile search option for non-users. The platform encourages you to create an account, but you can still perform a general profile search as a non-user. Again, the results show profile information based on the user’s security settings. Don’t expect a full profile view without having your account and a friendly connection with the user.
Open the Facebook home page and click on “People”. Click the box to confirm that you are not a robot and enter the person’s name in the search box and submit it to retrieve a list of results. Scroll through the results and click on the desired profile. You have access to the same limited profile view provided through other search modes.
If you need to see the profile without an account, ask a friend with an account to find you. Your friend may have access to multiple profiles if the user has opened the privacy settings within the Facebook platform.