Yesterday evening Facebook released a set of swine flu charts and maps that tracks the conversations surrounding swine flu. While it’s an interesting map it doesn’t really explain much. While there were some initial correlations between the level of conversation and the location of swine flu occurrences, comparing the lexicon maps to Google’s H1N1 Swine Flu map illustrates very little correlation between the two.
It also highlights some of the weaknesses in the Lexicon product. Facebook previewed the new Lexicon last September but since then nothing has been rolled out. So what are you supposed to do with the Lexicon? Create pretty charts of course! Unfortunately there is little data that can be used for improving the effectiveness of your Facebook ad campaigns though.
While we expect Facebook to roll-out an updated version of their lexicon tool, there is currently no stated timeframe. Ultimately the more data that Facebook makes accessible through their lexicon, the more advertisers can optimize their Facebook campaigns. There is definitely some interesting data that can be extracted from Facebook lexicon but unfortunately there’s no way to export that data.
While there’s a huge lack of features within Facebook Lexicon, the tool is fairly useful when combined with relevant news articles. I hope to see an improvement in the product over the coming months. Don’t expect the update to come too quickly though. Facebook is busy finalizing the products that they’ll roll out at this year’s f8 which is expected to take place in June.