Since the premiere of The Social Network, there’s been a lot more interest in Facebook’s founders and the website’s origins. As someone who went to see the movie immediately on October 1st and then again 9 days later (and is craving to see it a 3rd time), I get the intrigue. For me (and I suspect many others), the movie powerfully fuels the entrepreneurial drive – much like I felt when I was in my twenties and first read, clipped, and kept in my wallet an article from Mecklermedia's now defunct Web Week titled “The 20 Something CEO.”
This “intrigue” that the film evokes is causing both the production and curation of related, yet non-fictional, content. Bloomberg recently did an interesting documentary-style piece on Mark Zuckerberg and the founding of Facebook. This is soon to be followed by an in-depth special program with Lester Holt on CNBC this coming January featuring brand new interviews with many of the people fictionalized in the movie.
And just yesterday, All Facebook curated a number of existing online-videos of the Facebook founders which prompted me to check out and compare their search patterns on Google. Since search is one pretty solid indicator of interest over time, the chart below clearly shows how search queries for each of the “characters” featured in the movie increased since the movie’s October 1st premiere.
What’s also interesting is the fact that spikes in searches have occurred every Sunday since The Social Network premiered (presumably because most people are seeing the movie on the weekend and feel the need, post-movie, to look up the founders and investigate what really happened). Note: The large spike for Mark Zuckerberg on September 23rd (before the Movie premiered) was most likely due to his philanthropic appearance on Oprah.
It’s also interesting that the relative comparison in volume of searches tends to match the amount of movie airtime each person got. Chris Hughes who I didn’t include on the chart was barely featured/mentioned in the movie and was more-or-less flat-lined in comparative searches. Ironically, he was a pretty big part of the founding of Facebook and has gone on to do some very noteworthy things.
In the end, there's no doubt that mass media drives search behavior.