Is It Love? Forget Daisies, Ask Facebook

With each share, each like, each interaction between friends, Facebook learns a little more about individual users and even (potential) couples. With all this data at its disposal, Facebook claims it is able to predict when two users are likely to become a couple or when they’re about to break-up. Talk about killing the mystery of romance!
In the three months leading up to a couple making their relationship ‘Facebook official’ the amount of activity between the users sees a steady increase. As this graph shows posts tend to increase to 1.67 percent per day in the 12 days leading up to the status change, but once the relationship is made official there is a decline in the amount of activity between the users. The die-off in interaction does mean that the relationship is doomed. Rather posts are more intimate in nature and use words like ‘love’, ‘nice’, and ‘happy’ more frequently. This graph shows the change in positive over negative feelings expressed in timeline posts before and after the start of a relationship.
Facebook also looked into the duration of relationships and found that if relationship reached its three month anniversary it was likely to last four years or more.
That Facebook is able to make such statements with its data reflects that users are sharing so much information that data scientists are able to draw distinct social patterns. It could also mean that they’re able to know things about you before you even know them yourself. In my opinion, I would like to stick with the excitement of not-knowing. Being in love is the greatest feeling in the world, and we shouldn’t let data interfere with magic in the making.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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