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Facebook Releases Lexicon

by David Brooks | 16.04.2008
Below is taken from the Official Facebook Blog:

“At Facebook we love tools that allow you to see what people around the globe are searching for or discussing on blogs, such as Google Trends or Technorati. We thought it would be cool to show trends on the public and semi-public forums across Facebook (also known as Walls). 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.

The Wall is a really interesting place to look for buzz, because when one person writes a post on a friend’s or a group’s Wall, tens, hundreds, or even thousands of people might see it; those viewers may read, digest, and pass on that information, spreading it virally. So when my friend Kasey wrote on my friend Blaise’s Wall saying how she really liked the movie Juno, I saw her post and knew I had to see it for myself. It seems like a lot of users share her sentiments; excitement about the movie grew significantly when it was released in early December:

How are these numbers calculated? We have a cluster of computers that count the number of occurrences of every term (for example, “juno”) across profile, group and event Walls every day. The system strips out all personally identifiable information so that there is no way to track a mention back to a specific person. No human at Facebook ever reads these Wall posts, and Lexicon does not look at personal messages, invitations, or any other private user-to-user communications.

Play around with Lexicon. You can compare up to five different words or two-word phrases and see how many people talked about that term each day. As long as enough people mentioned the term, it will show up on the graph. Want to see how many people are talking about going skiing vs. going to the beach? Go for it. ”

What does this mean for us marketers? we now know exactly how much people are talking about everything!! Personally i think if Facebook users catch onto what theyre doin, theyre could well be an uproar and it may result in a loss of users. Feel free to post your thoughts!