Wolfram | Alpha Data Mining Your Facebook

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Wolfram | Alpha announced a new tool that lets anyone do personal analytics on their Facebook data. Stephen Wolfram described the new capabilities:

Wolfram|Alpha knows about all kinds of knowledge domains; now it can know about you, and apply its powers of analysis to give you all sorts of personal analytics. And this is just the beginning; over the months to come, particularly as we see about how people use this, we’ll be adding more and more capabilities.

It’s pretty straightforward to get your personal analytics report: all you have to do is type “facebook report” into the standard Wolfram|Alpha website.

Stephen Wolfram also stated:

The personal analytics system we’re releasing today is just the beginning. We’re looking forward to everyone’s feedback . . . and we’re planning to keep adding more and more features and capabilities.

You have to authenticate the app to run in Facebook. Then you get a report showing dozens of charts and graphs that use your Facebook account to form a report with over 60 sets of data.

Here are a few of the results you get from the app:

  • a map of your friends’ hometowns
  • age distribution of your friends
  • today’s weather and other information about your location
  • time until your next birthday
  • the various types of posts you add to Facebook categorized and a weekly distribution of your updates
  • average post length, average number of comments, likes
  • word clouds from your posts
  • gender and age distribution of your friends
  • relationship status of your friends
  • most common names among your friends
  • who you share friends in common with
  • a chart of friend distribution in a network showing connectors and hubs

Individual charts from the report can be “clipped and shared” on a web page or in Facebook.

I’m sure people will be fascinated with seeing all their Facebook facts displayed this way. We are a nation of navel watchers. Some people who use Facebook Pages for business promotion may find the data helpful in deciding what works in promoting their brand. The important thing is, at least for now, you can only gather this information on your own account.


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