There's an app that guesses who you are based on your Facebook likes—and we tried it
I often marvel at the sheer amount of data that Facebook must have on me. Having been on the social media site since 2006, I can only assume that it knows everything there is to know: My education history, my favorite TV shows, the number of times I visit an ex’s profile the week after we break up.
But what does all of this information really say about who I am? Thanks to a new app from Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Center, I can finally find out.
The app, called Apply Magic Sauce, analyzes your Facebook Likes and, in return, gives you a detailed psycho-demographic profile based on your “digital footprints.” It offers predictions for political affiliation, sexuality, religion, intelligence, and everything in between — and, naturally, I was curious to see what it had to say about me.
It’s probably worth noting that I’m not the most active Facebook user. I predominantly use Facebook as a means of communicating with friends, and I rarely make updates to my actual profile. While I haven’t uploaded a new photo since 2012, I do check my newsfeed with some frequency, and I’ve “liked” about 100 things over the years. My Facebook Likes can be divided into a few general categories: News sources, TV shows, brands with great design, acquaintances’ failed side projects, Seamless, Beyoncé, and the LA Lakers.
According to Apply Magic Sauce, my 24-year-old sad girl persona has all been a ruse. Based on my Facebook Likes, I am a laid back, 30-year-old man who is more satisfied with life than 54% of the population. I am liberal and artistic (true); contemplative (true); spontaneous (true?); and probably single (rude, but true).
Of course, this isn’t the first time that personal data has been used to make predictions about who you are on the Internet. Google predicts your age, gender, and interests in order to serve you better ads. (Depending on which email I look at, I’m either in the 18-24 or 25-34 range — which is surprising, because I usually feel like I’m 85.) Most other major social media platforms do the same. Apply Magic Sauce simply offers an example of how this information can be used.
As the website is quick to point out, “This is a prediction of your psycho-demographic profile based on your Facebook Likes. It uses a snapshot of your digital footprint to visualize how others perceive you online and therefore may not be an entirely accurate picture of who you really are.”
Basically, you can’t blame them if they’re wrong — but it’s unlikely they won’t get at least something right. As it turns out, your Facebook Likes might say more about you than you think. It gives a pretty thorough profile, and it’s ridiculously fun to see what it has to say.
You can give Apply Magic Sauce a try right here.
(Image via Fox)