2.7 billion “Likes?” At this point it should be love. We’re kidding, maybe, but Facebook said on Wednesday that its users hit the Like button 2.7 billion times per day. Even crazier, there are 300 million photos, 2.5 billion pieces of content, and 500 terabytes of data processed every day. The social networks also scans a total of 105 terabytes of data every half hour, TechCrunch said. You’d think with all of this data Facebook would be able to turn its stock price around, right?
Financials aside, Facebook’s vice president of engineering Jay Parikh said that Facebook relies on being able to process the data quickly so that it can take advantage of it. If you like Ford, the car company, then Facebook needs to know that so that it can start targeting ads and making Ford’s marketing campaign worthwhile. “Big data really is about having insights and making an impact on your business,” Parikh explained in a presentation attended by TechCrunch. “If you aren’t taking advantage of the data you’re collecting, then you just have a pile of data, you don’t have big data… We’re tracking how ads are doing across different dimensions of users across our site, based on gender, age, interests [so Facebook can tell markets] ‘actually this ad is doing better in California so we should show more of this ad in California to make it more successful.”
Facebook employees are able to view this data – they need to in order to create better campaigns and track complaints, TechCrunch explained – but Parikh said that Facebook has a “zero tolerance policy” for any employee that takes advantage of the data or views content they don’t need to be looking at. In other words, if a Facebook employee is casually browsing those photos from your summer in Cape Cod, he or she will be canned.