Facebook Could Predict When Your Relationship Will End: REPORT

05/21/2010 11:30 am ET | Updated Apr 29, 2013
  • Catharine Smith Huffington Post

Buzz is growing around The Facebook Effect, David Kirkpatrick's forthcoming book about Facebook's rise to social networking stardom.

Citing excerpts from Kirkpatrick's book, AllFacebook.com, claims that "Facebook knows your relationship will end in a week."

How is that possible? (And is it, really?)

Kirkpatrick reveals that during Facebook's early days, Zuckerberg enjoyed analyzing the social patterns of the site's users--in particular, those in relationships.

Kirkpatrick writes (in an excerpt posted on AllFacebook.com),

As the service's engineers built more and more tools that could uncover such insights, Zuckerberg sometimes amused himself by conducting experiments. For instance, he concluded that by examining friend relationships and communications patterns he could determine with about 33 percent accuracy who a user was going to be in a relationship with a week from now. To deduce this he studied who was looking which profiles, who your friends were friends with, and who was newly single, among other indicators.

Though online privacy concerns have many Facebook users worried, AllFacebook.com assures its readers that Zuckerberg's old habits no longer take place at Facebook.

Meanwhile, Village Voice counters, if Facebook can predict the end of your relationship, it's likely that somebody in real life has noticed, too. Salon.com has a similar take:

"[Y]ou don't have to be able to see behind the scenes or develop a complex formula to tell when a relationship is on thin ice. Flirtatious comments, snippy wall posts between significant others, photos that reveal a certain sadness (or wandering eyes) -- these are all pretty straightforward hints. The same is also true of our non-virtual lives."

Read more revelations from Kirkpatrick's The Facebook Effect here. (For example-- Zuckerberg's early business cards read "I'm CEO...b**ch.")

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