Fascinating Facebook reporting from Wolfram Alpha


Wolfram Alpha just announced that they have expanded the Personal Analytics for Facebook that they introduced last year. Click here to try it out. The results are both insightful and entertaining. In this post I'll show you the biggest new feature, and share my favourite old feature.

One of the most significant changes in this update is the evolution of the 'Friend Network' visualisation. Previously the friend network diagram showed which of your friends were connected to each other. You can see in the screengrab below how your friends were grouped in colourful clusters. This painted a really interesting picture, as it clearly maps out periods in your life to date, such as school, travelling, college, jobs.

Occasionally you might notice that certain people were connected to multiple clusters (often family, partners or close friends). Wolfram Alpha now highlights which friends are the connecting link between otherwise separate friend groups. Five different “network roles” have been identified: social insiders and outsiders, social neighbors and gateways, and social connectors. Have a look below to see how this works. It's an interesting insight because it begins to quantify the value of each friend within your social network.

One of my favourite parts of the Wolfram Alpha report is the weekly distribution visualisation — it lends a (painfully) honest insight into the times that you're most active on Facebook and what you're doing. You can see that I'm quite partial to posting a flurry of links on a Monday and Tuesday evening (wtf?).

This is just a taster, pop on over to Wolfram Alpha to get your own Personal Facebook Analytics.


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