21 Amazing Facebook Facts You Didn’t Know
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.
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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) <<CLICK TO TWEET THIS!>>
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) <<CLICK TO TWEET THIS!>>
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)
Image via TechCrunch
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 in 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) <<CLICK TO TWEET THIS!>>
Image via Statista
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) <<CLICK TO TWEET THIS!>>
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)
Image via Salesforce
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) <<CLICK TO TWEET THIS!>>
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)
Here are 10 facts you might not know about Facebook, so read on and let us know your favorites in the comments box below.
1. Al Pacino’s Face Was on the Original Facebook Homepage
Prior to a major homepage redesign back in 2007, Facebook’s front page used to feature a man’s face partly obscured behind a cloud of binary code.
Dubbed the “Facebook guy,” it was not known who the mystery man was — until recently. David Kirkpatrick has revealed in his book The Facebook Effect that the image is a manipulated photo of Al Pacino created by a friend and classmate of Mark Zuckerberg.
2. One Early Facebook Function Was a File Sharing Service
You won’t find this in the official Facebook timeline, but one of Facebook’s early add-ons was a peer-to-peer, or more technically friend-to-friend, file sharing service called Wirehog, developed alongside Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg and three others.
It launched in 2004 and is reported to have been planned as an integral FB feature. In 2005 Facebook was actively promoting the service and Zuckerberg told The Harvard Crimson “I think Wirehog will probably spread in the same way that thefacebook did.”
However, likely due to piracy concerns, Wirehog was axed in 2006 before Facebook got really big, although its photo-sharing functionality lives on in spirit.
3. The First “Work Networks” Included Apple and Microsoft
Many of you may know about Facebook’s initial staggered rollout, where they started with Ivy League colleges before encompassing other educational institutions. But do you know who Facebook first went corporate with in terms of official work places?
In May 2006, Apple and Microsoft were among the first, as was Intel, EA and Amazon. Others in the first round also included Accenture, Gap, Intuit, Pepsi, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the non-profit organization Teach for America. It wasn’t until September 2006 that everyone, regardless of school or company affiliation, could join Facebook — and just over a year later the site hit 50 million active users.
4. Facebook’s Hidden Easter Eggs
Facebook is no stranger to Easter eggs. Early on, mysterious movie-related references (apparently Zuckerberg is a big film buff) could be found littering the site.
The references could be found in the footer of the old “Friends Page” in 2007, and one of the first was a quail-themed quote from the film The Wedding Crashers. Later dubbed “quails,” other quotes with the avian theme continued to appear in the footer text, including “Only the craftiest of quails survive hunting season,” and “What doesn’t kill a quail only makes it stronger.”
In addition, Facebook once boasted a Konami Code (you know — up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A, enter) that changed the background of the site to display colorful circles and light flares.
Finally, there’s the “Chris Putnam,” a Facebook Chat Easter egg that still works today. To test it out, when in chat type in :putnam: and hit enter — ta da!
5. The Meaning of the Term Poke Has Never Been Defined
While Facebook explains how “poking” works on its help center, there’s no explanation to be found for the origin of the phrase. The most common definition is a friendly “nudge,” but the more flirtatious connotations cannot be ignored.
David Kirkpatrick reveals in The Facebook Effect that Zuckerberg once responded to a question about what a poke meant on the social networking site with: “We thought it would be fun to make a feature that has no specific purpose… So mess around with it, because you’re not getting an explanation from us.”
6. The Average Facebook User Has 130 Friends
How many Facebook friends do you have? To put your friend count in perspective, the average user has 130. Facebook’s official stats page is full of little gems like this, and more staggering stats, such as the fact that people spend over 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook, while the current active official user count now stands at over 500 million.
As far as Facebook the platform goes, over a million websites have integrated with Facebook, and more than 150 million people engage with Facebook on external websites every month.
7. There’s an App to See What’s on the Facebook Cafe Menu
If the staff want to know what’s on the menu, they don’t need to leave their seats. In fact, they don’t even need to leave their Facebook profiles — the “Lunchtime” Facebook app offers a weekly view of what’s being offered. And it looks real good.
8. Mark Zuckerberg Calls Himself a “Harvard Graduate”
As you can see for yourself over at facebook.com/zuck (the personalized URL Zuckerberg nabbed for himself), Mark Zuckerberg tells a little fib on his profile page. He lists himself as a “Harvard Graduate,” which simply isn’t true, as he dropped out to concentrate on getting Facebook up and running.
When 60 Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl confronted Zuckerberg with this little inconsistency, he said “That’s true. We don’t have a setting for dropout.”
Er, memo to Zuck — you kind of have the power to make that happen…
9. California is Huge on Facebook
As far as Facebook goes, California (home of Silicon Valley) is the most social state, with an amazing 15,267,160 users in the region, according to Facebakers. This amounts to a 41% penetration rate — pretty astounding that nearly half the state is connected via Facebook.
The next biggest user-base can be found in Texas with 9 million users, but it’s nowhere close to California. New York comes in third with 8 million, and rounding off the very bottom of the list is … Delaware. Of course, actual state population size is a factor here, but you get the point.
10. A Facebook Employee Hoodie Sold for $4,000 on eBay
If Facebook merchandise is collectible now, imagine what it will be worth in years to come. A Facebook employee standard-issue hoodie recently sold on eBay for a whopping $4,050 with nearly 50 bidders battling it out to win the auction.
The fact that Mark Zuckerberg had just been seen sporting the same garment at the D8 Conference and revealed its mysterious insignia to the world certainly helped up the bids, but considering the one that sold had not touched Zuckerberg skin, it’s an astonishing amount