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Users spend 16 billion minutes on Facebook each day


June 29, 2010

Facebook usage is running at 16 billion minutes a day

Facebook usage is running at 16 billion minutes a day

It’s been over six years since Harvard sophomore Mark Zuckerberg introduced Facebook – run on a single server – initially to Harvard students and eventually to the rest of the world. Since then, the incredible growth of the social network’s infrastructure means it now needs about 60,000 servers to support its 400 million users. And those users are sharing more than six billion pieces of content per week, uploading in excess of 3 billion photos each month and spending 16 billion minutes on Facebook every day.

These astounding figures were quoted by Tom Cook from Facebook's systems engineering group at the O"Reilly Velocity conference last week.

Facebook's servers perform over 50 million operations per second, mainly between the caching tier and web servers. Over a million web sites have included features of Facebook Connect and currently users are viewing in excess of one million photos every second.

To cope with the growth, Facebook has started to build a data center in Prineville, Oregon that will be custom-built to support its server and storage infrastructure.

Also notable from Facebook's latest stats:

  • 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • an average user has 130 friends and creates 70 pieces of content each month
  • About 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States
  • There are more than 100 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices, and these people are twice as active
  • More than one million websites have integrated with Facebook Platform
  • At Structure 2010, Facebook Vice President of Technical Operations, Jonathan Heiliger, conceded that the company did not plan its infrastructure effectively for the challenges it now faces, advising other start-ups that it’s never too early to think about scale.

    Via Slashdot.


    This is insane! 60,000 servers and 3 billion photo uploads a month!

    Patrick Van Tassel


    Facebook User

    The capacity to store all these data is NOT LIMITLESS. The enormous data that its members posts will one day strain its physical ability to handle them -- and they have to keep adding new servers as needed. The servers don\'t just sit there and accept and store data as they come in. They have to be maintained also and powered by electricity. Also, what happens if these servers are sabotaged? They might have backup servers, which would then be additional costs to bear. I have a hunch that in the future the company will put some kind of constraints or limits as to how much can be posted. Charging the customer is out of the question and will be a logistic nightmare, since it says that 70% of them are from outside the U.S. This is a first, so I am excited as to what will transpire in the near future.

    Ted Ferrer

    The capacity is NOT LIMITLESS. Facebook cannot just keep on adding servers without straining its physical and financial resources. These servers will have to be maintained and will consume enormous amounts of energy. I guess they have backup servers too in case the main ones will be sabotaged or damaged. I won\'t be surprised if in the future FB will limit the data (bytes) that members will be allowed to post. Charging the customers will be out of the picture since 70% of the members are outside of the U.S, and it will be a logistical nightmare to do so. This is a first, so it will be interesting to see how FB will grapple these challenges in the future.

    Ted Ferrer
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