Love it or hate it, there’s no getting away from Facebook. The social media behemoth’s influence can be seen in every corner of the Web, from the site’s growing underground popularity in China (where the site is banned) to the fact that approximately 30% of American adults get their news from Facebook.
As you’d expect from the world’s most popular social media site, Facebook has a fascinating story – and more than a few trivia tidbits that might surprise you. Here are 21 amazing facts about Facebook that will prove just how remarkable the site really is, and may offer a glimpse of what we can expect from Zuckerberg and his team in Menlo Park in the future.
1. Al Pacino was the first “face” on Facebook. A very early iteration of the site displayed a header image featuring a man’s face obscured behind binary code. The identity of the man could not be seen clearly, but it later came to light that the face was that of acclaimed actor Al Pacino. (source)
2. Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, was the first major investor to back Facebook. Thiel, a luminary in the startup and venture capital worlds, saw the site’s potential and invested $500,000 into the young company in 2004. Thiel later sold his stake in the company for more than $1 billion. (source)
3. Sean Parker, co-founder of now-defunct music sharing site Napster, originally acquired the facebook.com domain name for $200,000. Parker was the driving force in the renaming of the site, and was highly influential as the site exploded in popularity. (source)
4. A peer-to-peer file-sharing system called Wirehog was once a core function of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg introduced the P2P file-sharing system when Thefacebook.com reached approximately 500,000 users, and once believed it would become a central component of the site. Wirehog was retired over fears of potential legal repercussions of copyright infringement in 2006. (source)
5. Mark Zuckerberg suffers from red-green colorblindness. This is why Facebook’s primary color scheme is blue – although it certainly doesn’t hurt that blue is also strongly associated with trust and security, two concepts essential in getting people to voluntarily part with their personal information. (source)
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6. Facebook’s ‘Like’ button used to be the ‘Awesome’ button. Facebook engineer Andrew Bosworth said that he and other engineers were enthusiastic about the “Awesome” button, but that the idea was ultimately vetoed by Zuckerberg in 2007. The site eventually settled on the “Like” button, a decision that Bosworth said was met with a decidedly lukewarm reception. (source)
7. Facebook stores approximately 300 PETABYTES of user data on its servers. There are 1 million gigabytes in a petabyte. The entire written works of humankind, in every known language (including Latin and other historical languages) from the dawn of recorded history, would occupy approximately 50 petabytes. Think about that for a minute. (source)
8. In 2014, the alleged global economic impact of Facebook was approximately $227 billion. However, this statistic (and the methodology behind it) has been called into question by several leading economists. Whether you buy Facebook’s data or not, there’s no doubt that Facebook has had a serious impact on economies around the world. (source)
9. Facebook’s user base grows by eight people per second, or 7,246 people every 15 minutes. Some naysayers have foretold of Facebook’s impending demise, but aside from boasting the largest user base of any social network in the world by a gigantic margin, this statistic proves Facebook is still growing. (source)
10. In 2015, Facebook boasted 22% of WORLDWIDE mobile Internet advertising revenue. That means almost one-quarter of all advertising revenue generated from mobile Internet ads in a single year went to Facebook. (source)
11. Adult Facebook users in the United States spend 68% of their mobile device time using apps. Despite this, there were only approximately 8,400 app advertisers on Facebook in 2013 – and these 8,400 advertisers drove more than 145 million app installs in that year alone. (source)
12. There are now more than 2 million active advertisers on Facebook. The popularity, impact, and cost-effectiveness of Facebook ads has made the site one of the most popular online advertising platforms in the world, and its upward trajectory seems likely to continue. (source)
13. Facebook ads targeting custom audiences have 14% lower cost-per-click and 64% lower cost-per-conversions than ads utilizing interest- or category-based targeting, on average. In addition, Facebook ads using custom audience targeting had conversion rates 387% higher than ads only using demographic targeting. (source)
14. The Facebook advertising format with the lowest cost-per-click is the Sponsored Page Action Story format, which has an average CPC of just $0.11. The ad format with the highest CPC is the Sponsored App Action Story, which has an average CPC of $0.58. (source)
15. The Facebook advertising format with the highest click-through rate is the Sponsored Place Check-In Story, which has an average CTR of 3.2%. The ad format with the lowest CTR is the Inline Like format, which has an average CTR of 0.03%. (Ibid.)
16. Facebook earns an average of $5.85 for every Facebook user in the United States and Canada. These two countries also have among the highest monthly active users of any country in the world, making North America a vitally important market for Facebook. (source)
17. Every minute of downtime outage costs Facebook approximately $24,420. The “prolonged” outage that lasted for 19 minutes in August 2014 cost the company almost $427,000 – and you thought you were pissed when Facebook goes down. (source)
18. Posts published between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. EST receive approximately 88% more interactions on average than posts published at other times of the day. Also, ending posts with a question lifts interactions with those posts by an average of 162%. (source)
19. In September 2014, Facebook users watched a collective 1 billion videos per day. Today, that figure is more than 4 billion – and 75% of these video views occur on mobile devices. (source)
20. Videos are the most-shared content type on Facebook. On average, videos receive 89.5 shares per video, significantly higher share counts than photos or text-based posts. (source)
Image via SocialMouths
21. Posting just once or twice per day on Facebook yields an average of 40% more engagement than posting three or more times per day. This shows that, despite marketers’ best efforts to beat Facebook’s rapidly declining organic reach, you can’t just use brute force to make yourself heard. (source)
If you know any fun facts about Facebook, let us know in the comments!
Originally from the U.K., Dan Shewan is a journalist and web content specialist who now lives and writes in New England. Dan’s work has appeared in a wide range of publications in print and online, including The Guardian, The Daily Beast, Pacific Standard magazine, The Independent, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and many other outlets.
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