Mayhaps you have used the Facebook app Likeness. It’s a fluff app, but has wide appeal since it does two things most people like: easy quizzes and comparisons with our friends. The graphic design that went into the app is a bit low-scale, but it gets the job done. If you haven’t used it, the concept is simple. You are presented with a quiz topic, like “What’s your addiction?” You are then presented with ten items that you must rank in the order specified by the question page (usually most to least favorite, or whatever). Once you have ranked the ten items, you are shown a screen that easily allows you to goof up and spam all your friends. But after that, it produces some sort of similarity score between you and all your friends who have taken it. I’ve never had a similarity below 46% and never one above 98%.
But it got me thinking, how exactly are they measuring this similarity? (more…)