Facebook is freezing me out; they are putting me (and probably you) on ice.
You see Facebook has a problem, too many faces. Facebook users upload 300 million new photographs every day. Facebook is home for billions of images.
All those images need storing somewhere so Facebook runs thousands of servers and those servers need a lot of power. It worse than that, all that power gets converted into heat, so Facebook needs even more power to keep the servers cool.
Facebook uses a lot of electricity. It isn’t cheap providing a free service.
Nobody looks at all those photos
Most of them hardly get a second glance. 85% of Facebook’s visitors are looking at only 8% of those images.
An interesting fact but so what?
Facebook are designing against their customer’s demands. They are building cold storage facilities for all those forgotten memories, two large data centres in the frozen north, one in Oregon and one in Sweden just south of the Arctic Circle. That is where they will keep your forgotten memories, on servers that are switched off when nobody is looking, saving Facebook the cost of running the servers and cooling the building.
On the positive side, this is a win for energy efficiency and green thinking.
Some would argue a negative, a few Facebook customers want to look in the archives and for them it will take a second or two longer for the server to start-up and deliver the image.
But the quid pro quo (and it is a big quid) is that the popular images that 85% of us want to look at are always on and delivered straight away.
The Pareto Principle at work
This is a lovely example of the Pareto Principle or 80:20 rule. Maybe the most useful rule of thumb you can use to improve your business:
Not all things are equal.
- 80% of your sales come from 20% of your customers
- 80% of your complaints come from 20% of your issues
- 80% of your time delivers 20% of your output (a sad fact)
Wherever you look, you will see the 80:20 rule at work. Some things are far more important than others, even your memories.
And the sad truth be told, some of our memories are probably best left frozen.
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