Inside Facebook’s Photo Factory

7 thoughts on “Inside Facebook’s Photo Factory”

  1. Nice article Om with haystack details…..

    However, I’m surprised that if they really have 15B photos with 4 copies for each (60B), it is really only 1.5 petabytes of storage….I have heard that companies like Shutterfly (which has much less images < 1/5th), uses up storage of more than 5 to 6 petabytes.

    It clearly could be due to the size of the image they store where Facebook might be doing it at a much lower resolution but it also means that they are going to have a real tough time monetizing all those pictures since they might not be print/memory worthy quality. I’m sure traffic through all those pics with advertising is worth something but if people upload 220M images a week…..i see a missed goldmine oppty for monetization.

  2. @Raghu They definitely shrink them a lot and they even do it locally so as not to incur the bandwidth costs of uploading full high-res images. I typically upload pictures to flickr and Facebook at the same time and the FB upload takes a small fraction of the time.

    Here’s a post I wrote a while back comparing Facebook photos and flickr:
    http://blog.agrawals.org/2007/10/10/the-power-of-the-social-graph/

    With regard to monetization, I think they know their audience. We don’t believe in print. 🙂 The last time I printed a picture was years ago. I’ve got pictures online, pictures on my iPhone, pictures for a screensaver. I love pictures.

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