Wolfram Alpha, the “computational knowledge engine” that quietly handles a large number of queries from Apple’s Siri, launched a new feature today that allows you to quickly get an overview of all your data on Facebook. The new report, says Wolfram CEO Stephen Wolfram, expands Wolfram Alpha’s “powers of analysis to give you all sorts of personal analytics.” The company plans to expand these reports with new features over time, but they already give you a pretty deep look at your Facebook habits.
The report, for example, shows which words you use most in your status updates, who likes your updates the most, when you use Facebook the most, your app activity and how your friends are connected to each other.
The report also gathers a good amount of data about your friends, including, for example, their marital status, age and gender distribution and lists of the most common names among them. You can also see a specialized report that just focuses on your friend by searching for ‘facebook friends.’
I’m not much of a Facebook users, so my report isn’t all that exciting, but thanks to Wolfram Alpha, I now know that 20.8% of my Facebook friends are single, for example, as well as who my oldest and youngest friends on Facebook are. I now also know that my friends live in 20 different countries and that the most common name among my friends is ‘Chris.’ I have no idea what do with all of this information, but it’s definitely fun to look at these reports.
To see your own personalized report, just head over to Wolfram Alpha and search for ‘facebook report.’ You’ll then be prompted to connect to Facebook and create a (free) Wolfram Alpha account. After that, Wolfram will gather all your data and compile your report within a few seconds. Wolfram Alpha caches your Facebook data for one hour and each time the report is run, the results will reflect the current state of your Facebook account.
Wolfram Research is building a computational knowledge engine called Wolfram|Alpha for the web to be launched in May 2009. The product will contain data in various fields including physical sciences, technology, geography, weather, cooking, business, music, etc. in order to provide answers to questions that users input. Its language interface will accommodate variations in how users frame their questions, such as the use of abbreviations. Wolfram Alpha’s vision is to create a system which can do for formal...