Inside Facebook’s Photo Factory

7 thoughts on “Inside Facebook’s Photo Factory”

  1. Now I wish they’d start displaying some of the EXIF metadata that is being stored in the image files by digital cameras. It’s odd that even now they don’t extract the photos timestamp or location.

  2. 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.

  3. @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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