On our Facebook Fan Page, we have had many requests from our user base on how they can track IP usage on various social media platforms like Facebook of course, but also Twitter, Digg, and StumbleUpon. Well, as easy as social media is to use, it’s not quite as easy to get that technical with IP tracing – yet.
Here is the problem, many of the popular social media tools reside in the United States solely. Even though these popular brands above have users across the entire globe serving a huge international community, the servers that these technologies operate on reside primarily in the US. What this means is that it looks like from a technical standpoint of an outsider, that every user on your target platform for investigation is actually from the US. Well, we all know this isn’t the case.
So how to track more technically within Facebook and such you ask? Well, it is still somewhat limited, but let’s consider a good option at our current disposal.
For this post, we are going to focus on Facebook, the most popular of those requested. The best way to get an IP address of a Facebook user is to notice the emails sent to your inbox on the users that comment on your status updates. Look within the email headers first, as you will notice an embedded code in this area. This code is hiding your answer! Look for “X-Facebook” in the email header of the mail you received. You will see a long string of weird combination text in a set of frames that may look similar to this: ([MS4xLjEuMQ==]).
Now, if you will take that code and do a Google search for something like “Covert Base64″ or “Convert Base64 code” then you can select a tool to convert what we think is garble into an IP Address! Paste just the data found between the brackets results in a change to a legible IP Address, e.g. “MS4xLjEuMQ==”. Cool eh? While not obvious, there is usually tricks to the answers you are searching for, even the technical ones. Enjoy!