No one knew it yet, but people all over the world gave Graph Search a hearty meal when they uploaded a record 1.1 billion photos during the 48 hours over News Year’s Day and Eve. That’s nearly double the 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook on an average day. Content upload stats from Facebook take on new meaning now that Graph Search makes everything shared more discoverable.
The 1.1 billion photos stat was confirmed by a Facebook spokesperson. The number tops the record-setting 844 million photos shared over last year’s New Year’s. The billion extra photos adds to Facebook’s collection of 240 billion photos that Mark Zuckerberg announced at the Graph Search launch on Tuesday. All of those photos are now indexed in Facebook’s new internal search engine.
The New Year’s photos could help friends or strangers, depending on each of their privacy settings, decide where to spend December 31st, 2014, or just give them something pretty to browse. Unfortunately, as Graph Search is still in beta, you can’t search by keyword or exact date. The best you could do to surface New Year’s photos right now would be to search “Photos taken in Times Square NYC in December” or “…in January.”
While Instagram is growing fast, its parent company, Facebook, still sees way more photo uploads thanks to its higher user count and bulk upload options. According to new stats shared by Instagram today and first spotted by AllThingsD, Instagram averages 40 million photo uploads per day, about one-seventh as many as a normal day on Facebook and one-thirteenth as many as Facebook on New Year’s Eve or Day. Instagram did see 10 million photos tagged with Thanksgiving references on Turkey Day 2012, though.
Pulling in tons of photos doesn’t just give Facebook something to show its users. There’s valuable meta-data to be mined. Photo tags tell Facebook who people spend their offline time with, while Likes and comments teach the news feed whose content to show to whom.
Graph Search also makes location tags of photos even more important to the social network. It can use your photo taken at a local business to recommend that place to your friends. While your Likes of businesses might have grown stale over the years or have been bought through ads, geo-tagged photos are a cleaner data set.
You probably don’t take a lot of photos at places you hate. After all, I don’t see many people posting pics from the DMV.