When will they ever learn...

Facebook just launched a new Google Trends-esque toy called Lexicon:

Today we’re announcing the launch of Facebook Lexicon, a tool where you can see the buzz surrounding different words and phrases on Facebook Walls. Lexicon pulls from the wealth of data on Facebook without collecting any personal information in order to respect everyone’s privacy.

Basically they look at what everyone types on their walls, and then reports popularity across time. Here’s a graph of the phrases “party tonight” vs “hangover”. This is probably the funniest phase shift I have seen in 2 dimensions.

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What other people have to say:

Awesome stuff!

So did you do this piece of research on your own? Publish it man! Here is statistical proof that hangovers are caused by partying!

A few observations:

  • The two big spikes: second one obviously corresponds to new-years parties. What does the first one correspond to?
  • I see that the magnitude of the “hangover” graph is greater than the “party tonight” graph, for most part. That means that there were many people who were hung-over without partying, or, reported the hangover on facebook, but not the partying ;-)

haha, no, this was an example query in the application… I came up with some unique ones of my own, most of them were too controversial to post :P

To answer your questions, here are my theories:

  • The second spike, which is around October 28th, is probably Halloween. Since Oct 31st was a wednesday, most folks moved the party dates to the preceding weekend.
  • Hangovers are more talked about than the party, which will probably have it’s own “event” page. Also, there is only one word for “hangover”; party has many synonyms.

Overall, the spikes are also a tell-tale sign of Facebook usage; far more users log in to the website over the weekends, compared to weekdays. I wish they would provide a normalized graph as well.

About the author:

Arnab Nandi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University. You can read more about him here.

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