Researchers at the University of Cambridge and Stanford University recently conducted a study to determine how well Facebook knows you. They released the results this week, and what they found is eye-opening. It turns out that the computer model the researchers built to analyze Facebook users could predict their personality better than their own friends and family members.
The researchers gathered their information by asking over 86,000 Facebook users to conduct a personality survey. Then they analyzed those users’ Facebook Likes to determine what interests aligned with what personality types. The more Facebook Likes a user had, the easier it was for the computer model to guess their personality. For instance, the computer could make better guesses about a user than their human friend after 70 likes, and could even outperform a family member after 150.
While the model couldn’t predict everything, and wasn’t built to analyze things like emotion and moods, it’s a clear sign of the obvious power and usefulness of Facebook user data. The social media giant has geared much of its future business plans toward collecting data; it isn’t clear how exactly it will be useful yet, but as soon as an application for the info can be found, Facebook will be there to capitalize on it.