Facebook is one of the world's largest sites, and that means it has a veritable mountain of data to mine.
And as Mathias Mikkelsen points out in a recent blog post, that includes such information as when people break up with their partner.
The chart on Mikkelsen's site is based on a TED Talk by David McCandless, entitled "The Beauty of Data Visualisations".
David McCandless and a colleague dug through 10,000 status updates for the words "break up" or "broken up", and constructed a chart of the frequency of those words by day of the year.
"What rises twice a year, once in Easter and then two weeks before Christmas, has a mini-peak every Monday and then flattens out over the summer?" he asked the audience at his Ted Talk, before revealing a chart of when the words were most likely to appear.
The chart shows regular peaks on a Monday, and a large peak around (northern hemisphere) spring, with another peak just before the end of the year.
The chart is a fascinating insight into human behaviour, though it must be tempered with knowledge of how people use social sites. For example, a peak on a Monday may reflect the fact that many people don't use social networking on the weekend. Monday may be the first update for three days, and reflect the cumulative weekend-updates of those who only use the social networking site during the school or working week.
And how many people will log in on Christmas day? Especially to say they have just broken up with a loved one.
It's also the kind of information that we'd rather not know about ourselves - do we really want to find out that we tend to clear the relationship decks in time for a new year?
Even with the quibbles about how to analyse the data for best results, it's an incredibly powerful tool to investigate human behavour. Facebook has over 500 million users that researchers could scrape data from.
The talk by David McCandless covers much more than just Facebook breakups, such as the cost of the financial crisis, and a landscape of the world's fears, drawn as mountains of media panic.
And Facebook isn't the only site that lends itself to such large-scale social analysis: in October, dating site OK Cupid used data from its users to demonstrate that same-sex daters on its site don't "recruit".
We look forward, in a nosy-neighbour kind of way, to seeing what other habits are revealed by status update mining...