Facebook’s 1.2 billion profile photos displayed on a single webpage

The faces of Facebook looks like a magic puzzle.

September 30, 2013 ?? – With 1.2 billion Facebook users around the world, it’s a safe bet that you are one of them.

Whether you joined the social network when it was still a favorite project at Harvard University or joined as recently as today, Natalia Rojas, a creative technologist, probably has your photo somewhere. on its website, The faces of Facebook.

Rojas’ website took about a year and a half from start to finish, although she said she only worked there in her spare time. “I accidentally found out how to access all of everyone’s profile photos on Facebook while playing with their API,” she told ABC News, referring to the app’s programming interface. . “I was like, ‘What am I doing with this? Maybe do something beautiful?'”

Beautiful can be an odd choice when first-time visitors to the website. Although it is not as offensive to the eyes as the Million Dollar Homepage Advertising Officer, it doesn’t look much different from static electricity on a TV. “At first I thought I would take all the photos and make them really small,” Rojas said. “But I realized that whatever you do you will get that loud thing you see.” As a result, she decided to reduce each profile picture to a single color pixel, which makes the website load faster. When the website is not overwhelmed with users, you can zoom in on those pixels to reveal photos.

She hasn’t done any official data analysis on Facebook users, but Rojas sees some trends among Facebook users. “The first user profiles are from Harvard and other universities in the United States,” she said. “But after that, a lot of people registered in South America. Now most of the latest profile pictures are from India.”

Unlike the giant social media empire from which Rojas grabbed all of the profile photos, its website is the creation of Rojas and a few friends. As a result, her website is not always able to handle the flood of web traffic that she has recently seen. “We had a million users in the first two days,” she said. “I want everyone to access it, but the servers we have don’t have the capacity to support everyone.”

Rojas has done a lot of work creating and maintaining the Facebook information database, but she’s not averse to letting other people work with her data. “It took a lot of my time and money so it’s not something I want to give,” she said. “But if anyone has an idea for more amazing and interesting results, why not? “


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