Sean J. Taylor

World Cup Recap

I know it’s a couple months late, but I wanted to recap some of the fun stuff I worked on at Facebook for the World Cup.  All of this work was a collaboration with my friends Dustin Cable and Alan Clark.

Post by Sports on Facebook.

First, after the first week of games, we compiled all the of the first checkins in Brazil (actually within a certain radius of any of the 12 host cities) in month of June.  We used the first checkin as a crude measure of a person’s “arrival” in Brazil to attend.  Dustin then worked on animating the paths that people took across the globe from the current towns to the cities they first checked in at in Brazil.


Next, we took all these people and induced a social network on them.  We took the population of all people who checked in on Facebook in Brazil sometime during June and found any friendship that was created between two of these people after at least one of them arrived.  We grouped this by pairs of cities to show the new international friendships that formed during the World Cup.

There are many more details here in this Facebook Data Science blog post and Time magazine also did a writeup. I’m not a huge soccer fan, but the World Cup is such an huge, international event that it was fun to study from the Facebook lens.