A new study by Facebook suggests that the social media giant can predict the future romantic relationships of individuals before they are declared official — all by examining their activity online.

In a blog post titled “The Formation of Love,” Facebook data scientist Carlos Diuk explains what Facebook sees as future couples begin to court each other.

“Relationships start with a period of courtship: on Facebook, messages are exchanged, profiles are visited, posts are shared on each other’s timelines,” he says in the post. “The following graph shows the average number of timeline posts exchanged between two people who are about to become a couple.”

(Image source: Facebook)

(Image source: Facebook)

Oddly enough, after individuals enter into a “Facebook official” relationship, posts trend downward. But, Diuk has an explanation.

“Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world,” he writes in the post.

“…online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.”
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Nevertheless, as frequency of posts might go down, “The content of the interactions gets sweeter and more positive.”

“The following graph shows the proportion of positive over negative feelings being expressed in timeline posts before and after the beginning of a relationship,” Diuk writes. “We observe a general increase after the relationship’s “day 0″, with a dramatic increase in days 0 and 1!”

(Image source: Facebook)

(Image source: Facebook)

The study was based on Timeline posts exchanged by couples throughout the world, with a declared anniversary date between April 11, 2010 and October 21, 2013.

(H/T: The Atlantic)

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