Facebook recently made public a huge amount of data about its users' interests as part of a new tool called 'Audience Optimization'.
For the first time ever we can see not only the hundreds of thousands of categories into which Facebook divides its users, but also the number of people who belong to each one.
Researchers from The Verge were able to pull 282,002 interests from the publicly available interest categories and from this data were able to the determine the celebrities people are most interested in, the gadgets people are most interested in and even the US presidential candidates people are most interested in (no prizes for guessing who topped the list here).
There were some surprising results. For example, Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi (139,218,340) beats Beyoncé (80,634,320), The Minions (75,372,780) beat Kanye West (74,589,850) and Disney on Ice (36,144,060) beats Game of Thrones (34,527,750).
So how does Facebook collect this data? A spokesperson has explained that interests are formulated algorithmically from popular Facebook open graph pages, Facebook Ads tags, and other Facebook data sets. The sheer randomness of the list suggests that the algorithms are scraping keywords from your posts. For example, the 'comitative case', a fancy grammatical term for 'with' (yes of course we looked it up) has an audience of 58 million.
Here's the top 10 lists for each category.
Via The Verge