I was playing around with some code today from Mastering Social Media Mining with Python (by Marco Bonzanini, and published by the same company that published my last twobooks), and I came up with this snazzy set of scripts (postGetter.py, fileParser.py) that mines the last X posts from any public Facebook page, creates a clickable FB url for each, sorts them in order of most interactions (shares + likes), and creates a spreadsheet with the results.
Here are the results when run for the last 1000 posts by the Times-News of Burlington, our local newspaper: timesNews.csv.
Not that surprising or shocking, but here goes. The last 1000 only goes back to August or so (modify the params at the top of the code to make it scrape more), but the top five posts for August-December based on interactions seem to be:
Many friends are posting results of the Quizzstar “words of the year” app on Facebook. It generates a 2010-style word cloud of the words you used on Facebook posts most frequently. To make the image, the user gives Quizzstar permission to view all their old posts, download them to Quizzstar, at which point Quizzstar generates the image. Below is a screenshot of the Quizzstar web site, showing that this app is currently their #1 most popular. (They also have other apps that harvest your friends list and so on.)
What users might not be aware of is that by installing this app in your Facebook account, you are agreeing to have your profile and posts mined in order to change and influence the advertisements that you are subsequently shown.
An example of how they use your FB wall posts are mixed with this third party data is as follows (section 18),
We use the remarketing and ad technology provided by Taboola… in order to improve the relevance of the advertising presented to consumers. [This]… includes technical browser and system information, details of how you used our service, such as your navigation paths the referring site, application, or service as well as might be combined with such data collected on other sources. Taboola might also use “Web Beacons” (small invisible images) to collect information. Through the use of “Web Beacons” simple actions such as the visitor traffic to the website can be pseudonymously recorded and collected.
Doesn’t that sound fun?
If you regret installing this app, here’s how to get rid of it.
On a regular device, such as a laptop or desktop machine (i.e. full screen browser):
Go into privacy, and click “See more settings”
2. On the left, click “Apps”
3. Click “Show All” and hover your mouse over the errant app. Use the “X” to remove it (the Cartwheel app is shown, because I had forgotten to remove this one after an experiment last month! whoops)
Removing it on a mobile device
If you’re using a mobile device, you can remove apps by finding your profile page and click through as shown. Sorry Android users, this is an iPhone – I hope FB mobile is similar on your device!