Facebook Status Updates Show Which Countries Are Happiest

Facebook has extended its “Gross National Happiness” prototype app to 18 new countries. The app analyzes words in status updates like “awesome” or “tragic” to track changes in the collective emotional state of its users. When Facebook applied the methods to its U.S. userbase last year, it found that happiness went way up on holidays and way down when celebrities like Michael Jackson or Heath Ledger passed away. While the results of the study weren’t surprising, the idea of using status updates to measure national happiness was a novel one....

May 11, 2010 · 2 min · 334 words · Omid Farhang