Innovation | content | facebook | 7 min read

Algopol Project maps Facebook and asks “why do we post?”

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In December 2013, specialists from the worlds of Human Sciences and Data Processing Technology, two previously distinct fields, joined forces to develop the Algopol Project: in-depth analysis of the dominant behavioural styles impacting on the interactions of Facebook users.

In order to carry out an initiative of such magnitude, a cutting-edge partnership between Linkfluence, The University of Paris 7, Paris School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, The French National Centre for Scientific Research and the Orange Labs was formed.

More than 12,000 Facebook profiles were analysed using bespoke research methodologies.

Preliminary research identified three top-level categories of Facebook user:

  • Egocentrics: whereas the general public might view these selfie-obsessed users as ubiquitous on Facebook, this category constituted less than 15pc of all analysed profiles.
  • Millenials: these users are largely identified by how they initiate conversations. They are almost exclusively youngsters who tend to interact by sharing content through another user’s wall, rather than posting in their own space.
  • The Anonymous: the significant majority of all accounts that were analysed. These users tend to use the social network on a casual basis but are likely to be more discerning regarding the content they share.

The next stage of the project saw researchers seek to understand the implications of these user preferences. Simply put, each piece of shared content generates a ‘source’ that reflects a certain individual preference, serving as an ‘interest indicator’.

Relatable patterns of interests were identified in over 270,000 analysed sources. This data was then mapped by Linkfluence: the cartographic overview is shown below:


This digital landscape cartography displays the 600 most relevant shared sources, clustered by common interest criteria: entertainment (blue coloured area), culture (green), ‘geeks’ (yellow) and a dedicated political sphere, uncovering a prominent group of left-wing supporters (green).

Linkfluence has delivered cartographic visualisation studies such as this since 2006. In terms of analytical depth, the Algopol Project sets a new standard for research methodologies designed to manage data sets of this scale. This landmark in the history of Linkfluence introduced a modus operandi that continues to lead all client-driven and independent cartographic studies: powerful data analysis, well founded academic approach and bespoke research methodologies remain at the heart of Linkfluence.


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