Facebook Extends Coverage of Happiness Index, Skype Extends Coverage of Subscriptions
Article by George Norman
On 07 May 2010
At the time of writing this, popular social networking site Facebook has more than 400 million registered users. All these users share how they feel via status updates. In a brief, concise and to the point update, the user sheds some light into what he is feeling at the time. Facebook takes a look at the updates and comes up with a Gross National Happiness index.

Until now the index looked at positive words like happy, yay, awesome and at negative words like sad, doubt, and tragic and measures the level of happiness amongst Facebook users in the US. So far the Gross National Happiness index uncovered that Facebook users are happier during national holidays (4th of July, Thanksgiving), social holidays (Halloween) and religious holidays (Christmas, Easter).


The news is that the Facebook team has extended the coverage of the Gross National Happiness index to include an additional 18 countries (including India, Spain and Germany).

“We chose the countries based on those with the highest volumes of status updates in one of the languages that we currently support: English, Dutch, German, Italian and Spanish. This is because we need a large number of status updates in order to build a model that is not easily affected by random variations in word usage. Our methodology also requires us to have reliable, validated dictionaries of positive and negative words in the languages we analyze, which is why we do not yet support all languages,” commented Facebook’s Lisa Zhang.

Moving on to popular IM and VoIP client Skype, I am sure you already know that you can use Skype free computer-to-computer calls. You may also know that you can also make calls to landline and mobile phones. In this regard you must only get a subscription and you could call regular phones around the world from as little as €0.89/£0.69/$1.09 per month.

Skype has recently announced that it has extended the coverage of these subscriptions to include a grand total of 170 countries. Skype also announced that it now added the option to subscribe to more that one country.

“With our brand new subscriptions you can call regular phones in one of more than 170 countries around the world, from as little as €0.89/£0.69/$1.09 per month. With a subscription, you can call landlines or mobiles, and you can pick a number of minutes (from 60 to unlimited) and length of subscription (from 1 to 12 months) to suit you. You’ll also save up to 60% on our normal rates. You can also have a subscription to more than one country at once, which is great for those of you who call Venezuela and Botswana,” commented Skype’s Peter Parkes.

To get started with Skype’s new subscriptions page, click here.

Tags: Facebook, Gross National Happiness index, Skype, Internationl calls, Landline calls
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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