Facebook has just launched a limted test of a new version of Lexicon, the tool for researching what users are saying on each other’s walls on Facebook. The previous version only showed relative volume of terms over time, but the new version has several key enhancements:
- Actual numbers, instead of just relative volume. Now, you can see how many wall posts are actually being written containing the given term.
- Demographic breakdowns, by gender and age
- Geographic breakdowns, by US state, Canadian province, or UK country (no data is available outside of these 3 countries yet). You can also do comparisons between two terms on the same map.
- Sentiment over time. Facebook has not said exactly how it determines this measure. You can also compare sentiment between two terms.
- Associations. You can see terms frequently mentioned alongside a given term.
Currently, the new version is limited to a fixed list of about 20 terms. Facebook should open it up for general use soon.