Interaction metrics and social networks

Sofia Machado


Metrics are prevalent on Facebook, and can be counted in a variety of ways, from the number of likes to notifications. The quantification of these elements acts continuously on the actions of the users, contributing to the creation of the virtual “self”, which is formed from numbers and data as a measurable entity. As Benjamin Grosser says, Facebook acts on the “desire for more”, re-imagining the “self” and interpersonal relationships in quantitative terms: when numbers increase the “desire for more” is achieved. The numbers act as a symbolic capital that can be accumulated, forming the basis for a gamified interaction, namely by promoting competition.


Faceloop addresses the role of gamification according to counter-gamification strategies which, as illustrated by Daphne Dragona, seek to question and subvert the game mechanics used in social networks. The project constitutes an alternative and fictional version of Facebook, focusing on metrics as the basis of gamification. The website presents references on the theme and operates to expose the game mechanics and the play elements (such as points and badges) associated with the actions of the users. In this way, it reveals the constant quantification of users’ behaviors, which is combined with gamification as a strategy to ensure their constant engagement.


Faceloop reflects how numbers are used repeatedly to feed game mechanics and dynamics, evidencing metrics as forms of symbolic capital, as the basis for the virtual “self”, and as forms of prescribing their (inter)actions.

the data / the app

game mechanics