How is Facebook able to keep up with itself? As more and more news stories come out about FacebookÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s user statistics, this is a question that is really beginning to perplex me.
In February, Facebook released their numbers saying they had 175 million users. Not too shabby, I thought. Read the article a little more and you find out that Facebook is ADDING 5 million new users each week.
Wow, I thought. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s borderline amazing. Reading even more of the article, you learn there are 850 million photos and 8 million videos uploaded EVERYDAY. Now, thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just downright obscene.
And then, less than two months later, Facebook announced that its 200 millionth user signed up. If Facebook were a country, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be between Brazil (#5) and Indonesia (#4) on the list of the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s most populous countries.
So I started thinking, with all of these users, photos, and videos, how? How is Facebook able to do all of this?
Just to get some perspective on all of this, letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s do some quick math: Facebook has a size limit of 4 megabytes for the photos uploaded to the site. LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s assume
that all 850 million photos loaded each day are right in the middle at 2 MB. SoÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ 850 million photos of 2 MB each is roughly 1.7 billion MB, which equals about 1600 terabytes or 1.6
1.6 petabytes?!? Per day!!?!
I read an article from about a year that said Facebook used about 10,000 servers Ã¢â‚¬â€œ some in California, some in Virginia. Now, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not a computer-whiz by any stretch of the imagination, but does that seem low?
I know the figure is a year old, so letÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s assume Facebook has doubled the amount of servers they haveÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ are 20,000 servers or even 30,000 servers capable of handling 1.6 petabytes of new info a day? And keep in mind this is only photos.
If we use the same math with the photos and assume that every video uploaded is half of the allowed capacity, the videos uploaded every day would be another 3.7 petabytes. For a total of 5.3 petabytes per day.
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 5.3 petabytes today. Up to 10.6 petabytes tomorrow. 15.9 petabytes the day after that. Then 21.2 PBÃ¢â‚¬Â¦ 26.5Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ 31.8Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ and on and on to the nth day. Oh yeah, and thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the 5.3 PB yesterday. And the 5.3 PB the day before thatÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
And remember these were conservative estimates of half the allowed file size.
Not to mention the strain put on the servers by the 100 million users that log on each and every day (but I wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mention them).
So now you can see why IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m perplexed. Can anyone out there shed some light on this mystery?