Hands on: SocialMe discovers hidden gems in your Facebook profile

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A huge chunk of my daily Internet time is spent on Facebook, and I accept that. I usually use my social networking account to keep updated on the lives of friends and loved ones all over the globe and update them in turn on how I am doing over here. I usually don’t use Facebook apps (stop sending me game invites, for goodness’ sake!) unless they’re related to music or photography, but when I found out that a couple of researchers from the University of Cambridge used a personality quiz app to prove that your Facebook ‘likes’ can determine a lot about your personality, I tried to find something similar to tinker with. That’s when I found SocialMe.

How it works

Much like the My Personality questionnaire app used by the Cambridge researchers, SocialMe – an app available on Zeebly, an online dating website – is designed to extract data from your Facebook account and give you a detailed report about your taste and personal preferences. Like most Facebook apps, SocialMe asks for permission to access pertinent Facebook data, such as your news feed posts, entire profile information, your email address, your friends’ birthdays as well as their relationship statuses (which shouldn’t be weird, considering this app was made by an online dating site). It then asks for your zip code and birthday, perhaps as a security measure. Then a loading bar while you wait for it to analyze all types of content:

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You may have time for a cup of coffee or an entire sandwich, because it may be a while before you can proceed, depending on how long you’ve been on Facebook and how active you are on the site. My loading bar tells me it’s currently analyzing thousands of Facebook statuses I’ve managed to accumulate over the years, which is a clear indication that I use Facebook a lot. Once it’s done analyzing, the app leads you to a graphical representation of your social data (and sends your results to your email as well) along with an explanation of how they amassed this information about you. 

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Aside from stating the obvious (I use Facebook a ton), SocialMe tells me that my favorite topics to talk about include Movies, Travel, and Food. It goes on to describe me as extroverted and optimistic (which I am, sometimes to a disturbingly high degree) and that I usually post on Facebook using a web browser during the afternoons. “How do we know this about you?” The graph goes on and explains that while examining my 2,541 Facebook statuses and my interactions with some of my 1,385 Facebook friends, it also analyzed my speech, my post times, and – you guessed it – my Facebook likes.

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It breaks down my posts into nifty charts that show in detail what type of posts I publish on Facebook. As a Filipino based in the United States who uses Facebook to keep tabs on family and friends in the Philippines, it’s only natural that most of my posts are cultural in nature.

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Next, it analyzes how many statuses you post monthly and lists your personal qualities. Hovering over points on your Statuses Per Month graph will even break it down further, telling you how many of your posts were statuses, photos, or links. According to the app, the average person posts 12.8 statuses per month. I post about 56. 

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The next part is pretty interesting.  The app actually counts the number of words you’ve typed since you started using Facebook and compares it to actual bodies of work—if my profile was a book, it would be longer than C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe! It also reminds you of your most popular statuses as well as some interesting facts about yourself you probably didn’t know. My results reminded me of how much I love long words, words with many syllables, emoticons, dashes, and run-on sentences (I use fewer periods in my writing than 85 percent of people on Facebook).

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Finally, your friends list is analyzed, telling you who your top commenters are and how many of them are male and female. Those who choose to divulge their age are put in age groups, enabling you to better address your audience demographic in the future. It also reveals how many of your friends are in some form of romantic relationship (you can actually find out exactly which friends by hovering over their icon representation). Apparently, I have a lot of friends who choose not to divulge their relationship status, and many of them are female.

The verdict

SocialMe does a pretty swell job in providing users a personalized infographic that can serve as a tool for better and more efficient online presence management. A tweak I wish its developers would consider would be to have a more detailed analysis of my personality through my Facebook likes – I already know I am extroverted and optimistic; it would be awesome if it could tell me and my friends why I would be a great party guest or which people in their social circle they should introduce me to.

The makers of SocialMe plan to release a similar product that’s more geared towards online daters. It will use your SocialMe stats to generate a list of people who could be ‘the one’. Those who are interested ought to give SocialMe a try to receive an invite via email to join the test group.

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