Too many people profiles -- implementation problem?

  • 12 March 2019
  • 3 replies


Are people profiles only created when deliberately using the mixpanel.identify() and mixpanel.people.set() commands, or are they created automatically with distinct_ids, and then populated with people.set()?

My account has 200k people profiles, and 99% of them are blank. Garbage profiles from people visiting our site from random countries that do not have accounts with us. 1% are actual customers that we care about.

Mixpanel sales has told me this is normal, and that a people profile is created for every distinct_id, supposedly so you can track anonymous users that eventually become real users. Something isn't sitting right with me based on what I've read and what makes sense, so I wanted to check with the community here. The people profile part of our bill is 4x as expensive as the events part. Have we been overpaying hundreds of dollars a month because of how we implemented Mixpanel, or is that how Mixpanel is actually meant to work?

3 replies

Userlevel 3

@ericw people profiles are tracked with both the people.set call and the identify call together, not the identify call alone.

if your profiles are blank, you must be calling people.set at some point before users are registered, or are not sending their information in people properties to set with your calls.

what library are you using?


I think it's the javascript library. So to confirm, if done correctly, we could have millions of unique page views on our site but only people profiles (i.e. that count towards our bill and can be explored in the Mixpanel dashboard) for people we specifically call those two commands on.

Userlevel 3

yup! with the javascript library that is correct. so if you are getting it tons of people profiles i would look to see where you are calling people.set in your implementation, and examine 1) if you are correctly passing in the people properties you want, or 2) possible user flows that could trigger it prior to authentication and without you having their identifying info (email, etc)

also- if you are unsure, you can confirm what mixpanel sdk you are using by segmenting your event data by the mixpanel library property. like go in insights > plus sign > breakdown > mixpanel library