Facebook can tell when 'in a relationship' is about to begin

Feb. 17, 2014 at 7:21 PM

MENLO PARK, Calif., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Facebook says it can tell when you're going to change your status from "single" to "in a relationship" even before you do, based on your messages and postings.

That's the finding of a study conducted between 2010 and 2013 by Facebook Data Science, a research service, which looked at 18 million posts by 460,000 couples, CNET reported Monday.

The study, which analyzed what Facebook sees before and after a relationship starts, found a typical courtship on the social networking site begins with messages being exchanged, visiting of profiles and sharing posts on each other's timelines.

There is an increase in the number of timeline posts shared between a potential couple 100 days before the relationship begins, followed by a significant drop in posts immediately after the relationship starts, the researchers said.

"Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world," resulting in the temporary decrease in posting, data scientist Carlos Diuk said.

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