Many of these interests look a lot like Pages you would ordinarily follow — celebrities, hobbies, brands, etc. — although their relative audience sizes can be surprising. Japanese pop duo Puffy AmiYumi (139,218,340) beats Beyoncé (80,634,320). The Minions (75,372,780) beat Kanye West (74,589,850). Disney on Ice (36,144,060) beats Game of Thrones (34,527,750). And the hobby “cat communication” (4,663,340), whatever that is, beats Sarah Palin (4,645,190). On the other extreme, the Power Macintosh 7100, Amazon MP3s, and the Applebee’s in Amman, Jordan all have audiences of fewer than 30.
But there are about 282,000 categories in our data set, and many of them are more nuanced or abstract. For instance, Facebook says there are 88 million interested in sin, 81 million in boredom, 41 million in crying, and 28 million in envy. These are tiny, though, when compared to the 839 million interested in love or the 571 million in happiness. The interests get weirder the further down the list you go, like “narcissistic parent” with an audience of 41,660.
So where did these categories come from? A Facebook spokesperson explained that interests are formulated algorithmically from popular Facebook open graph pages (the articles, music, and videos being shared), Facebook Ads tags, and other Facebook data sets
+Note: Please see our experience with “Interests” in their Ad Platform and how very likely bogus they are, as a relative measure to gauging interests. Also to help explain some of the rather specious results above. Again, there was a time when ‘interest’ pages were common, less so now, but just recently went through and culled a bunch of Pages that had been ‘liked’ and saw things like “Wine.” Also a bunch of these theme/interest pages hadn’t been touched since 2011-2013, making them just tumbleweeds in a rather remote or desolate platform.
Likewise it is with great trepidation, and a helping of disbelief that the above interests genuinely reflect users or a measurable target. When was the last time you saw an ad on Facebook that was of genuine interest to you? For us, that would be never. They aren’t quite the level of late-night infomercial dreck, but they haven’t been elevated, and tend to be pages/interests from within Facebook, promoting pages/groups, etc…a waste of time & ad spend if you have no budget in our estimation.