Facebook Hosts 10 Billion Photos

I’m a sucker for huge numbers, and Facebook’s engineering team has shared a pretty interesting data point: Facebook users have now uploaded more than 10 billion photos. More than 300,000 images are served every second.

Facebook’s 10 billion images easily outdistances the largest photo-sharing sites. Photobucket hosts about 6.2 billion photos, while Flickr has 2 billion, according to CNet

So Facebook users upload a ton of photos. What’s the significance? Those photos have to live somewhere. Facebook now has more than 1 petabyte of photo storage, and at least 2 terabytes of photos are uploaded every day. That will drive demand for more servers and more data center space.

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About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor at large of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.

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  1. Of course, Facebook reduces all photos they upload down to 600x450px, roughly 40k each - while Flickr (for example) stores up to six sizes of each photo including the full original, which could easily total 4MB of data for every photo uploaded from a 5MP camera. Taking these as averages, that would put Flickr at 7.5 petabytes to less then half of 1 petabyte for Facebook (of actual photo data).

  2. Facebook's Doug Beaver writes that "we actually store four image sizes for each uploaded photo, so that’s over 40 billion files." That's still shy of the six versions at Flickr, but might affect the calculations.

  3. True, but he also says that the largest one of those sizes is the ~40kb version shown on photo.php. Even doubling the total data per photo to 80kb doesn't quite get you to one PB.