Zuckerberg explained that in accordance with Facebook’s data, social sharing functions exponentially, so that the amount of stuff you shared today is double the amount of stuff you shared a year ago and the stuff that you will share a year from now will be double the amount you’ve shared today. In Mark Zuckerberg’s Law of Social Sharing, Y = C *2^X — Where X is time, Y is what you will be sharing and C is a constant.
Holding that most people intuitively misunderstand the profundity of exponential growth, Zuckerberg provided the example of a piece of paper folded upon itself 50 times. “If you took a piece of paper and folded it on itself 50 times, how tall would it be?” He continued, “Most people would say a few feet … Turns out it goes to the moon and back 10 times … I mean it’s 2^50 * the height of the paper. It’s a small base doubling many times.”
Whether Zuckerberg’s concise prediction of human sharing behavior is accurate remains to be seen. As Chris Dixon points out, it seems kind of absurd that people will be sharing 1,048,576 (2^20) times the items of information they are sharing today twenty years from now.
But who knows? Maybe automated sharing will hyper-accelerate social sharing beyond what we can share manually? In any case the law is remarkably self-perpetuating.
Mark Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Facebook, which he started in his college dorm room in 2004 with roomates Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Zuckerberg is responsible for setting the overall direction and product strategy for the company. He leads the design of Facebook’s service and development of its core technology and infrastructure. Mark studied computer science at Harvard University before moving the company to Palo Alto, California. Earlier in life, Zuckerberg developed a music recommendation system called...