Facebook knows you better than you know you. According to a new research paper by Jon Kleinberg, a computer scientist at Cornell University, and Lars Backstrom, an engineer at Facebook, The Social Network especially knows your habits when it comes to dating and relationships. Namely, how long it's going to last by analyzing the dept of friendships with mutual friends. Chrissy Stockton at Thought Catalog does a great job putting the results of the study in context:
For instance, being friends with your Bey’s 20 frat brothers isn’t as important as knowing his childhood BFF as well as his buddy from his first internship and his second cousin. This is a new measure they’ve termed “dispersion.” According to the research, the person in your (Facebook) life with the most friends from various groups, is your spouse, 60% of the time. Where the spouses didn’t exhibit this trait, the relationships were likely to end.
Here's what the New York Times says:
Particularly intriguing is that when the algorithm fails, it looks as if the relationship is in trouble. A couple in a declared relationship and without a high dispersion on the site are 50 percent more likely to break up over the next two months than a couple with a high dispersion, the researchers found. (Their research tracked the users every two months for two years.)
Simple enough. Too bad Mark Zuckerberg doesn't make a push notification for when you need to cut it off.