A Scary Amount of Photos are Coming to Facebook

Halloween is going to generate a frightening number of photos, many of which will immediately be posted to various forms of social media. If you went through the trouble to create an interesting costume, odds are you want your online friends to be able to see it. There is a good chance that the people you have connected with through social media will click on the photo of you in costume. A few days later, everyone will collectively forget about these photos.

There are about one billion people who are active Facebook users. These users upload about 300 million photos a day. They post even more on special occasions, such as Halloween. According to Jay Parikh, Facebook’s Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering:

“Halloween is one of our biggest photo upload days of the year. We will get between probably 1 and 2 billion photos uploaded just in a single day.”

Basically, what happens is that Halloween causes a whole lot of photos to be posted, and then ignored. However, Facebook has a user agreement that says that it will not delete data that users post just because no one has looked at it in a while. All these photos have to go somewhere!

The solution might be Cold Storage. It could provide a way for Facebook to store all those photos on tapes in a data center. The advantages are that it will provide Facebook with a lot of storage while keeping the cost of power consumption low. The potential drawback is that it could make accessing the photo slower for users.

Cold Storage will be part of the infrastructure of Facebook within the next year or two. Facebook has an Open Source Data Center website. that is updated with more information from time to time. Soon, the photo you posted five years ago of yourself in a Halloween costume could be preserved in cold storage. One can only hope that you didn’t decide to dress as the Geico Caveman that year.

Image: Stock Photo Grim Reaper by BigStock