IS Magazine Blog

Facebook Knows When You’re In a Relationship Before You Do

Feb 19 2014

Profile shown on Thefacebook in 2005

Profile shown on Thefacebook in 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It comes as no surprise that FB claims to have inside information when it comes to users changing their relationship statuses from "Single" to "In a Relationship".  The body responsible for this is the research service Facebook Data Science, which conducted its research from the year 2010 all through to 2013.

The methodology used included reviewing posts, messages and profile visits among couples who maintained a single status one hundred days prior to declaring an anniversary date, vis-à-vis those who remained "In a relationship" one hundred days after the anniversary date.

Another astounding finding is that many couples were found to start the relationship with a few timeline posts one hundred days before declaring to be in a relationship. The frequency subsequently increased to about 1.67 posts daily 12 days before the relationship kicked off, and 1.53 posts daily 85 days after it started; many opting to interact in person.

Although people are concerned about the privacy that most of the social media platforms fail to provide, they still continue to use them for online interactions. In turn, this allows marketing companies to use such information to enhance their targeting. For instance, a social media reporter for Mashable, Josh Constantine attributes Target's (TGT) trend of determining pregnancy among online shoppers by monitoring their buying patterns.

This was made possible by analyzing the products that female users bought online such as nutritional supplements, big hand bags that could fit in diapers and other similar products. Sending such women coupons through email was found to be extremely efficient in generating revenue for the companies that sell those products and/or services. Josh adds that many other social media platforms are joining in this race.

Facebook is among those companies that pride themselves in having the most interesting and captivating data, and often use this claim to conscript members of staff for their company. It uses the information that you share on a daily basis to determine whether you are about to get into a relationship, and strategically place the other person in your News Feed to probably generate more interest and make it fun and interesting as well.