June 20, 2012, 5:48 PM —
Do you like Wal-Mart on Facebook? Then you probably also like Febreze air freshener, Brett Michaels, and manufacturers of plus-size clothing.
Are you a fan of Starbucks coffee? Then you’re probably also enamored of Dairy Queen, Batman, and Hello Kitty.
Is there nothing you enjoy more than climbing on your hog and hitting the high wide and lonely? Odds are you’re packing a bottle of Jack Daniels and some Little Debbie snack cakes in your saddle bag, along with a Smith & Wesson equalizer.
All of this is according to Likester, a data analysis firm that takes Facebook likes and correlates information between them. These aren’t merely mild preferences or inclinations, says Likester; they’re lifestyle choices. BusinessInsider has a fascinating story about who likes what, based on plugging different brands into Likester’s Affinities Recommendations Engine.
For example, folks who give the thumbs up on Wal-Mart are 91 times more likely to also like Febreze than those who don’t. (Draw your own conclusions from that.) Starbucks aficionados like Barbie 17 times more often than their less caffeinated Facebook friends. (If you suspected that liking Starbucks was a bit ‘girly,’ here’s your proof.) Harley Davidson fans click ‘Like’ on the NRA 41 times more often. They also prefer tattoos and Lynyrd Skynrd by a wide margin – surprised?
How does Likester know this about all of us, exactly? That’s a good question. I’ve sent them emails, and I’m still awaiting a response. But here’s my best guess.
It starts with the Likester app, which has been installed by just under 9,000 people on Facebook. That app not only records everything you’ve ever clicked “Like” on, it also records what your friends have also Liked. According to the Pew Internet and American Life study, the average Facebook user has roughly 250 friends, which gives Likester a theoretical reach of 2.25 million, assuming I know how to operate a calculator. The rest, I am guessing, is statistical projection.
This app also analyzes your Likes and, based on what other people who also like what you like, like, makes recommendations for more things you might like. Are you with me so far?