1 Billion Crazy Facts About Social Media

One billion facts—admittedly with a few missing. Still, one billion seems to be an important number these days, considering recent news.

  • Earlier in October, Facebook announced that 1 billion people are now using the service.
  • As of this month, there are 1 billion smart phones in use worldwide, according to Strategy Analytics, a big data research and consulting firm.

Think about that for a second. One billion seconds ago was the year 1981. One billion minutes ago was the year 111—does anyone remember that? One billion inches is the distance between New York and L.A.—six and a half times. A billion people is almost the population of India. A stack of one billion dollar bills is 67.9 miles—well into the atmosphere.

  • Statistics released this summer by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) report that by the end of 2011, 2.3 billion people were online.

That means that almost half of all Internet users are also logging in to Facebook. And what’s more, 600 million of them are doing it from their phones.

  • Every day, there are 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook.

That was the entire population of Planet Earth 2,000 years ago.

  • Since 2005, there have been 219 billion photos uploaded.

I’m not even going to try for this one. 219 billion miles will take you to the sun and back 1,178 times, but that trip would take more than 417,000 years if you were driving your space car at 60 mph, so it might not be worth it. If we divided $219 billion amongst the 7 billion of us on earth, we’d all get $31, enough to buy every man, woman and child an iPod 5 Lightning Adapter. Or maybe something more useful.

It might be helpful to think of it this way—astronomers estimate between 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. That’s a lot of photos.

Marketers and social metrics analysts talk big numbers: impressions, ROI, etc. But when you reflect on what the numbers actually mean—the weight and size and implications of an amount—it can be quite astonishing. So the next time you launch a new social campaign, remember that you have 2 billion eyeballs—or 210,000,000,000,000,000 rods and cones—that could take a peek at what you’re doing. Make it count.

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