facebook_416x416With all the fuss that results from social media and random folks knowing your business it makes sense that a lot of couples choose to keep their relationship status off Facebook. But did you know that Facebook – the king of all social algorithms, might already know who your significant other is, even if you haven’t posted it on your profile?

Facebook researchers Lars Backstrom and Jon Kleinberg revealed in a recent paper that it is possible to track your closeness to your boo-thang on Facebook through something called “dispersion”. This has to do with how many people in your network that you and your boyfriend or girlfriend share. It makes sense right? When you start dating someone, you often begin to make friends with their childhood bestie, their college roommates, co-workers, family members and so on. This is unlike platonic friendships, where individuals often share one or two common networks.

Another discovery that researchers made is that among unmarried couples, the more dispersed the relationship is on Facebook, the more likely that relationship will exist in 60 more days. It appears that the more connected you are on social networks with each other’s friends, the deeper your relationship may be.

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  • nope, in fact fb would probably guess WRONG

  • Tori

    This is not nearly as creepy as the one time I found that Facebook had generated a “couples profile” for me & my boyfriend. It was an entire page documenting all our interactions over facebook. I had to report the darn thing to get it removed! Way worse than an unpublished educated guess from standard data collection.

  • KG

    Ha ha, Facebook. Jokes on you. Since I’m a weirdo, when I reach best friend status with someone, I start friending their family and friends. And since I’m black, once I befriend a family member, I have 10 other “family members” who friend me (you know who I’m talking about – the cousin whose not really a cousin but just a good friend around your age, or your uncle who just went to school with your dad). And, I bet you think since I’m black, my bf is black. Nope, he’s white. I bet your computer algorithms think I have 20 significantly others. Ha ha, joke is on you.