Facebook might be one of the top three tech companies to work for, but it’s not as great a social network for its users.
Every now and then, the social media giant provides a reason or two for people to hate it, mainly because of its abrupt changes and policies. However, it’s the privacy intrusion that bothers users the most.
Facebook’s handling of personal user information has attracted hateful vitriol over the past few years, but the social network is – to quote Forbes writer Dan Diamond – "arguably the richest data set in America."
“Almost six in 10 American adults now use Facebook, according to Pew Research data, and most Facebook users check it daily — sharing status updates, making social connections, and 'liking' books, movies, TV shows and so much more,” Diamond stated, adding such user behavior gives analysts the opportunity to comb for broad insights.
Now Facebook has a pattern to figure out if two people are falling in love with each other.
In a blog post published earlier this year, Facebook data scientist Carlos Diuk broke down what happens in the days leading up to (and immediately following) two users starting a relationship.
Here are the common trends that were observed:
During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple.
Messages Are Exchanged
Sending private messages is the most obvious and common trend between potential lovebirds.
Profiles Are Visited
Digital stalking becomes a habit.
Posts Are Shared On Each Other's Timelines
If your timeline messages are increasing, it could be a positive sign. Facebook observed a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins.
Decline In Online Interaction:
The trend that sounds the most depressing is actually the best indicator of them all.
A decline in online activity between a couple is actually an indication of a start of a happy relationship.
“A lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship,” the study states. “Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.”
Is The Relationship Working?
Analysts found out if the two participant post less but increasingly positive messages on each other’s timeline, it means they are off to a good start and an official relationship has indeed been established.
“For each timeline interaction, we counted the proportion of words expressing positive emotions (like 'love,' 'nice,' 'happy,' etc.) minus the proportion of words expressing negative ones (like 'hate,' 'hurt,' 'bad,' etc.),” the social network states on its blog.
Facebook observed proportion of positive over negative feelings being expressed in timeline posts before and after the beginning of a relationship and found a general increase after the relationship's "day 0", with a dramatic increase in days 0 and 1.
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Sure, the data is more statistical than substantive but it can help you guess if your Facebook correspondence with someone special is on the right track or not.