Finding Another Use for Facebook

There’s a new use for Facebook, besides Farmville, Foursquare check-ins and birthday reminders: it can track peak breakup times and may even help predict election results.

The former, via information is beautiful, and the status updates of Facebook users:

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 12.04.38 PM

The latter is from Mashable and Facebook’s political team:

Writing on the U.S. Politics on Facebook Page, the company says: “The Facebook political team’s initial snapshot of 98 House races shows that 74% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests. In the Senate, our initial snapshot of 19 races shows that 81% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests.”

As the article begins to point out, there could be other reasons, external to Facebook, that explain such a correlation. For instance, a well-run campaign is more likely to have an active Facebook page than a poorly managed one. But it’s still interesting to track offline trends in the real world. What other kinds of things could we use Facebook to track? When people lose their jobs? Get engaged?