Know what Facebook is doing with all that demographic information it’s been harvesting about you, and refusing to let you take private? They’re packaging it all up and … analyzing it! Which is actually a pretty interesting project, because it reveals Facebook is not the big white and Asian web meeting place it was originally. Reports the San Jose Mercury News:
In the first study of the race and ethnicity of its U.S. users, Facebook said Wednesday that blacks and Latinos have joined the social networking giant at a rapid clip in the past several years.
Illustrating the growing diversity of online users as the Internet matures, a study by Facebook researchers found that about 11 percent of the social network’s approximately 100 million U.S. members were African-American, about 9 percent were Latino and 6 percent were Asian, according to a blog Facebook posted Wednesday evening — a much higher share for blacks and Latinos than four years ago.
But how’d they find all that out when Facebook doesn’t even have its users denote their race? By matching users’ surnames against a 2000 Census Bureau database that connects names like “Washington” to “African-American.” Which is sort of creepy. But so is uploading your entire life to a website.
What the study doesn’t reveal, however, is what segment of Facebook is gay. Or bi. Or trans. How could they figure this out? By using Facebook’s gaydar, or by counting up all the folks who list themselves as “Interested In” the same-sex. Though even straight girls sometimes say they’re “interested in” other girls. As friends.