Yesterday afternoon I noticed that a friend of mine, Adam Conner, had posted a link to the Facebook Lexicon which was searching for the term “laid off”. The results are impressive in that it shows a steep increase in the occurrence of the phrase starting in September and continuing to peak now. While these are some depressing statistics, it illustrates how Facebook can be used to produce valuable research.
Currently, the information provided through Facebook Lexcion is still limited but if the company can continue to improve the tool for providing real-time analysis, the company could be on to something. Many researchers would be more than willing to pay for access to this type of information as long as there was more quantitative data.
Researchers are always dying to get their hands on any data pertaining to social networks. I regularly have researchers get in contact to have more access to the data we provide via our demographic statistics tool, Facebook page statistics tool, and our Facebook application statistics. Numerous developers that I have spoken with get regular requests from researchers looking for more user data.
It’s no secret that Facebook is a gold mine of user data. Many have theorized that this will be one of Facebook’s future revenue models. Paid access to a data API is always an interesting model and I personally know a number of people that would be willing to pay for access given the right price. Facebook has indicated that this may be a future business route but for now the company is still focused on growth as millions of users continue to join weekly.
If you want to experiment with the data available on Facebook, go check out the Facebook lexicon.