Facebook has some of the most valuable data in the world, but until Timeline came out, users had no way to dig into the past. With Timeline, you can pore through your history chronologically, but there's still no way to see which of your photos are most liked or which status you've posted has the most comments. Enter Gabi, a $0.99 iPhone app launching today that seems to be the first API manipulation tool for Facebook that provides you with this kind of data.
The first thing you'll want to do once you open Gabi is find out which of your friends likes the most pictures and statuses you've posted. Tap the plus sign at the left edge of the brown "My Best" row, then choose "Fans." From here, you can see which friends are interacting the most with your photos, videos, links, and statuses. There are also options to simply see which photos and statuses you've posted are most popular in your network. You can also check who amongst your friends has the most Facebook friends, and which of your friends has the most similar music taste to yours. Take it a step further and see what book, movie, or TV show is liked by the highest number of your friends. And yes, if you're so inclined, there's a search query for "Who are my single Aquarius girl or guy friends?"
The other place where Gabi comes in handy is aggregating the best links and videos shared by Facebook friends. Flipboard decides on its own what Facebook content is the most relevant and popular, but Gabi lets you ask "Which of my friends' links are the most liked" or "most talked about." This also works with statuses, photos, events, and videos. Once results appear, a timeline shows up ranking the most liked or commented items from hot to cold. Within the timeline screen, you can narrow down when results come from: today, this week, or anytime. Using this tool, Gabi becomes a nice way to see what links and photos are propagating the most within your network.
Gabi is pretty addictive, but has its share of shortcomings. First, the app's home screen features three confusing rows with no identifying names or labels. Only if you tap the plus signs next to each one do you realize that the top is "Newest items," middle is about you, and the bottom is about friends. Image previews are also very low-res before you tap on them; it feels as if app is pulling thumbnail files from Facebook and showing those images in search results. And maybe most importantly, the only place this kind of personal analytics app would be more useful is on your desktop, which seems like a no-brainer. The choice to go mobile first is a bit of a blown opportunity for Gabi, as hot as mobile apps are today. The app gives you the most liked links within your network, yet you can only read them on your iPhone.
"The choice to go mobile first is a bit of a blown opportunity for Gabi."
Gabi is about giving you the freedom while on-the-go to mine Facebook data that's already public to you. The company pitches the app as a way to find out about friends, but maybe more emphatically as a way to find hot videos and links in your network. We haven't seen any means yet of doing so, so the app ends up being both fun and useful — especially if you're looking for what people are talking about most today. Yet, we can't help but think that had it been on desktop and offered more options, it could've been worth a lot more.
Grab Gabi here from the App Store