Facebook Effectively Using its Big Data

by Kathy S
According to the article, Facebook processes about 2.5 billion pieces of content and 500 plus terabytes of data every day. They receive 2.7 billion “Like” actions and 300 million photo uploads per day. Facebook’s Vice President of Engineering says that Big data gives them major insights and helps them to make an impact to their business. He says if they’re not taking advantage of their collection of data, then it’s just a pile of useless data. When Facebook’s data is processed into useful information they are able to make out “new products, understand user reactions, and modify designs in near real-time.” The beneficial data that Facebook possesses is passed on to its advertisers. Facebook tracks how ads perform across different dimensions of users based on gender, age, interests, so they can see which ads are being more effective. Then those specific ads are shown more to make the ad successful. Lastly, this article talks about their “Project Prism”, which is Facebook’s plan to have their live data-set hosted across their data centers in different states across the country. The article also mentions that users might be uncomfortable with the idea that Facebook employees have access to their information and activity, but they assure that it has numerous protections against abuse. If data is being accessed then it is logged so Facebook can track which employees are looking at what. The VP assures that if there is any employee prying where they’re not supposed to, they’re fired. They have a “zero-tolerance policy.”

In class we’ve learned what data is, how it is managed, how it is converted to useful information, and about data warehousing. All these topics are related to what the article talks about. We know that data is not useful or it is not information unless it has been processed or been converted to have meaning and importance. Facebook has been effectively using their data by converting their data into useful information, which helps their business make good decisions, like the example of the ads.

What I liked about the article is that it nicely explains what kind of data Facebook has, how they use it, and what they plan to do to improve their data warehouse. It was nice to learn how Facebook works with all their data, no wonder they are the number one social network in the country. Also, I was glad to learn that  my Facebook information and activity is not being abused and it is being kept private.


John Constine. (2012, August 22). How Big Is Facebook’s Data? 2.5 Billion Pieces Of Content And 500+ Terabytes Ingested Every Day. TechCrunch.com. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://techcrunch.com/2012/08/22/how-big-is-facebooks-data-2-5-billion-pieces-of-content-and-500-terabytes-ingested-every-day

5 thoughts on “Facebook Effectively Using its Big Data

  • September 30, 2012 at 3:46 am

    Nice post. Finding out the sheer amount of data that Facebook collects daily is just mind-boggling. It is interesting to see how big data are converted to multidimensional information in the real time. I am also glad to know that how our private data are protected from the company’s employees.

  • September 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    It certainly is interesting to find out how much data is being used and absorbed by Facebook. Facebook saw that I was going to a wedding and placed an add for a site that sells very lovely dresses for just such occasions. I’m not gonna lie.. I was a little freaked out by this. And as usual, security is ALWAYS an important factor.

  • September 30, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I like how your blog was related to the topic we had discussed in class, It was also very interesting and informative. I wasn’t really aware of what facebook did with my data before reading your blog, but now I am thanks.

  • September 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Nice post. Facebook collects more data and has built more tools than almost anybody else. Even I know that Facebook processes tons of data everyday, the numbers are still surprised me. Facebook’s 955 million users, with a little more than half that many actively using Facebook every day generate a tremendous amount of data. With such a voluminous amount of data means that Facebook is presented with some unique challenges.

  • October 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    It is well known that Google Adwords has a higher average click through rate than Facebook. The two online marketing tools target their viewers in different ways, for example, Google ads target users when they are looking for a product, and Facebook ads target groups of people depending on their ages, education, income, locations, hobbies etc. In comparison i think LinkedIn ads (Banner Ads, Media Box ads and DirectAds) have presented a bigger potential (and a higher click through rate) compared to Facebook ads, but then again it depends on the type of ad, its content and presentation (HCI), etc.

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