Facebook Knows Who You'll Hook Up With
Facebook's CEO came up with a way of predicting who a given user would be dating one week in the future, according to a new book about the social network. And he did it for fun.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg found it entertaining to dive into user data and look for patterns, according to an excerpt from Fortune columnist David Kirkpatrick's The Facebook Effect. Hey, everyone's got hobbies, right? From the excerpt published on All Facebook:
As the service's engineers built more and more tools that could uncover such insights, Zuckerberg sometimes amused himself by conducting experiments. For instance, he concluded that by examining friend relationships and communications patterns he could determine with about 33 percent accuracy who a user was going to be in a relationship with a week from now. To deduce this he studied who was looking which profiles, who your friends were friends with, and who was newly single, among other indicators.
This kind of predictive capacity could be used for some pretty creepy targeted advertising opportunities: flower delivery, restaurant reservations, advice books, sexual products of various sorts. If you don't think Zuckerberg is interested in systematizing this sort of data mining, consider that he's created an entire "data science" team to find interesting patterns. That includes, as we wrote previously, which life events make men and woman happy vs. disgruntled. And we're guessing the patterns identified deep in the bowels of Facebook only get more interesting from there.