10 billion, that’s a pretty sizeable number. For the sake of this story, let’s see that number in its natural state: 10,000,000,000.
That’s the number of images that Facebook is now hosting, according to a post by engineer Doug Beaver on Facebook’s official blog. While this number might sound like it’s lost in the crowd of other photo-sharing sites, bear in mind that Flickr only hit 2 billion photos a little less than a year ago and Photobucket’s active ticker puts them at 6.2 billion at time of press.
Beaver’s post also listed some impressive stats on the amount of photos that Facebook is now handling. “To celebrate, we got a bunch of cupcakes and handed them out to our engineering and operations groups,” he said, “One of our engineers calculated that if we had gotten one cupcake for each of our photos, and lined them up side by side, the line could reach halfway to the moon.” They’re also receiving a staggering two to three terabytes of photos per day, and their photo traffic peaks at over 300,000 images served per second.
As monumental as this is, the hardware isn’t free. Facebook reportedly borrowed $100 million in May to help cover the colossal costs of hosting all those photos, and it’s not evident that revenues will be level with server demands anytime soon.