Thursday, July 3, 2008

Facebook Greasemonkey Part 4 of 4: View Photos

For the last installment on our feature on Greasemonkey scripts to enhance your Facebook browsing experience, I've brought on the big kahuna: a script that allows you to view the photos of a lot of users whose profiles are otherwise inaccessible to you. That's right, this is about as good as you can get in Facebook stalking technology without doing some actual hacking of the system.

Facebook - View All Photos, written by userscripts user Dan Cooper, isn't actually the simplest script to explain. So I'm gonna go and copy what it says on the main page outright so I don't misrepresent anything:

  • Lets you search for pictures of someone who has a private profile or has set their privacy settings so that you cannot view their pictures. (Check below for specific details)
  • Removes the two sections of photos users on facebook have ('Tagged by User' and 'Tagged by Others') and combines them in to one.
  • Redirects photos link on profile page to the user's all photos section
  • Links each tagged user's photos link in picture view and album view to the all photos section
  • Adds a link to the top of photos to allow you to see every picture they are tagged in
  • Lots of stupid people have a plethora of applications on their page and as greasemonkey scripts are only executed when the page has been fully downloaded, you might click the photos link before it's had a chance to change. You'll notice when it has as it says 'View All Photos of' instead of 'View Photos of'.
Pretty cool so far, right? But there ARE some caveats to viewing pictures in private profiles. Again, lifted straight off his website:

Ok, this could get confusing so stick with me. Start by searching for someone's name in the search panel. Profiles that you have access to will not be changed, however profiles that you do not have access to will now be coloured red and will link to a photos page. The only photos you see, will be ones that the person is tagged in which:
  • is in your PRIMARY network
  • there are photos availble to you to view (public albums etc)
So basically these are not photos you wouldn't have been otherwise able to access, it just saves you having to go through album after album looking for photos of them.
As this url manipulation only searches for the name of the person and not the id, if any two people should have identical names then pictures with either of them will be shown in the results. (There's nothing I can do about that without painstakingly manipulating the results page)
But basically, go ahead and install the script and explore around for yourself. Remember, private photos are only viewable if you're looking for someone in your primary network. You can, though, change your primary network to see someone else, but Facebook only allows you to do that every few weeks, to prevent people from hopping around checking out peoples'  profiles on other networks. Note that you can't do this on college networks either.

Finally, recent changes to the way Facebook's code is written, have caused this script to almost always not load the first time a page loads (similar to the Facebook Beautifier script). If you find the appropriate links not showing up, just reload the page, and it should work out.

Well, that's it for our four part series. Be sure to check out the other three parts, and let me know if you've gone and used these scripts, and what your experiences have been like. Cheers!

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