I query the Facebook graph API to get some users' likes, which come with a "category" field, which can be, for instance, Italian Restaurant or Health & Wellness website and so on.

I need to draw a profile of the user so I was thinking of retrieving the top level root in a taxonomy graph of the aforementioned categories in such a way that the first example falls into something like Food and the second one into something like Health. This way I'd know, by a majority rule, who is a sporty person, who likes fashion etc.

Is there a free public API I could use to get word taxonomies? I found Alchemy, an IBM project which is pretty cool but unfortunately limited to 1000 API requests per day and I'd need way more than that given the big amount of users and categories I have.

I know I'm probably asking for too much (a free and unlimited tool!) so the question might become "do you have better ideas about how to solve this"?


1 Answer 1


I think total number of default categories in Facebook is somewhat static. There is around 140-160 categories.

ref: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4216648/facebook-pages-authoritative-list-of-categories/8576572#8576572 and http://www.marketinggum.com/types-of-facebook-pages-for-business/

You can cluster (manually) them in to 10-12 generic groups.

eg: Sports Event, Sports League, Amateur sports team, Sports Venue, Athlete, Sports/Recreation/Activities etc all belongs to Sports category.

Similarly cluster and form generic groups.

And then you can assign a user to any of these generic group based on the like category.

  • $\begingroup$ How would you "cluster" them into more generic groups? By means of a linguistic distance? $\endgroup$
    – martina
    Jun 26, 2015 at 12:31
  • $\begingroup$ In this case since number of FB categories are less, you can manually cluster them or go for similarity matching algorithms such as BOW/cosine similarity/ wordvec etc $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2015 at 16:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Sreejithc321 Your observation about the number of categories simplified the problem greatly. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2015 at 8:26
  • $\begingroup$ By the way, I am finding more than a thousand categories from Facebook. $\endgroup$
    – martina
    Jul 10, 2015 at 9:36

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