Mike Develin, Facebook

Once More With Feeling

In 2013, Facebook introduced the ability to attach a feeling to your status update. We use these feelings as an instrument to investigate how demographic and environmental differences impact mood (spoiler alert: teens are pretty emo, and sunlight is good). We also investigate responses to these feelings, finding a strong sympathy effect where expressions of self-doubt elicit support from friends on Facebook. These results are based on anonymized, aggregated Facebook data.


Mike Develin is a data scientist at Facebook and editor-in-chief of the Facebook Data Science page. He is a member of the Product Science group, which conducts internal research on products past, present, and future, and has also worked on a variety of research projects, including romantic relationships and well-being. He got his Ph.D. in mathematics from UC-Berkeley in 2003, and continues to marvel at the fact that he has landed in his dream social science job without any formal training.