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Facebook knows You Are in Love!

 Facebook loveLove is in the air! Or rather, it is written on your Facebook timeline. By exploring interactions between couples between and after the relationship begins, Facebook Date Science reveals the correlation between love and Facebook posts.

In the world of Facebook, when couples are formed, people will change their status from “Single” to “In a Relationship” to announce the great news to their friends and the world. The researchers collected timelines of worldwide, anonymous couples who declared an anniversary date between 04/11/2010 and 10/21/2013. The researchers took the anniversary date as a sign of a relationship, while those who changed status but did not mention anniversary dates were not selected in the investigation. Moreover, the couples remained “Single” 100 days before and “In a Relationship” 100 days after their anniversary date.

In addition, the researchers utilized statistical approaches to analyze a set of aggregated, anonymized timeline interactions written in English and counted the proportion of words expressing positive emotions such as “love”, “happy”, “nice”, etc., and the proportion of words expressing negative ones such as “hurt”, “hate”, “bad”, etc. They also calculated the difference between the two proportions.

Usually, a romance begins with a period of courtship: on Facebook, messages are exchanged, profiles are visited, and posts are shared on each other’s timelines. During the 100 days before the romance begins, the number of timeline posts shared between future couples shows a slow but steady increase. On “day 0”, when the relationship begins, the number of posts begin to decrease. The post number reaches a peak of 1.67 per day 12 days prior to the “day 0”, and the number gets to a lowest point of 1.53 per day 85 days into the relationship.

 Facebook data1

During the 100 days before the relationship starts, the number of timeline posts shared keeps a steady increase, while when the relationship starts (on “day 0”), the number of postes begin to decrease. *Image source: Facebook Data Science.

However, the researchers believe that the decrease in online interaction does not suggest that couples become less intimate because the content of the interactions gets sweeter and more positive. No matter before the relationship or in the relationship, the couples express more positive over negative feelings. Moreover, a significant increase in positive emotions is observed after the relationship starts, especially in days 0 and 1.

 Facebook data2

No matter before the relationship or in the relationship, the couples express more positive over negative feelings. Moreover, a significant increase in positive emotions is observed after the relationship starts. *Image source: Facebook Data Science.

Presumably, couples chose to spend more time together and compared with online interactions, they prefer to interact in the physical world.

Source: Facebook Data Science

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