30 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Facebook


Facebook, an American online social networking service, launched on February 4, 2004, is based in Menlo Park, California. The name comes from the facebook directories often given to United States university students. As of April 2016, Facebook was the most popular social networking site in the world, based on the number of active user accounts. Here are 30 interesting facts about the social media site:

  1. Al Pacino is reportedly the first face on Facebook, as a very early iteration of the site displayed a header image featuring a man’s face obscured behind binary code. The image was later revealed to be the acclaimed actor Al Pacino.
  2. Every second there are reportedly 20,000 people active on Facebook. This means in 18 minutes there are 11 million users on the social network. Every minute there are 150,000 messages sent, and over 500,000 “likes.” There are over 49 million posts made in every 15 minutes, which means 3 million posts per minute.
  3. A Colorado sheriff, Justin Smith, propagates his ideas on matters relating to local, state, and national concerns, using his Facebook account. He has over a seven thousand followers to whom he even also publicizes crimes, particularly those that his department solves.
  4. With more than 2 billion monthly active users, as of June 2017, more than 600,000 hacking attempts are reportedly made to Facebook accounts every day. There are about 30 million dead people on Facebook, while 8.7% of the 2 billion users are reportedly fake.
  5. During his sophomore year at Harvard University, Zuckerberg wrote a program called "Facemash," which reportedly attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online. It was after Harvard administration shutting down Facemash, that Zuckerberg launched "TheFacebook", on February 2004.
  6. The most-liked photo on the site is that of the former President Barack Obama and the former First Lady embracing with the caption "Four more years" after winning the re-election in 2012. The image is said to have generated the most likes of any photo, 4,410,548 likes in Facebook history.
  7. In Bahrain uprising in 2011, the social network was used by the Bahraini regime as well as regime loyalists to identify, capture and prosecute citizens involved in the protests
  8. It is reported that the social networking site stores approximately 300 petabytes of user data on its servers. A petabyte is actually 1 million gigabytes.
  9. In the year 2007, the website was ranked as one among the "Top 100 Classic Websites," by PC Magazine. In 2010, Facebook won the Crunchie "Best Overall Startup Or Product" award for the third year in a row.
  10. Facebook began selling stock to the public and trading on the NASDAQ on May 18, 2012. Its shares were priced at $38, which meant the company was valued at over $100 billion, which was worth more than eBay, Yahoo, Groupon, LinkedIn, Netflix, IAC, AOL, Zynga and Pandora, combined at that time.
  11. During the Syrian civil war, the YPG, a libertarian army for Rojava has recruited westerners through Facebook in its fight against ISIL.
  12. In the year 2013, Facebook's founder Zuckerberg donated US$1 billion to charity, making him the biggest charitable donor in the United States.
  13. Researchers from the University of Michigan, in a 2013 study, found that spending a lot of time on the social media site might be making some users more depressed. The study suggested that looking at other people's Facebook posts - often happy about achievements - may make people feel more dissatisfied about their lives.
  14. Harvard seniors Cameron Winklevoss, Tyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, as they claimed that Zuckerberg was using their ideas to build a competing product. The case was settled in 2008 for 1.2 million shares worth $300 million at Facebook's IPO.
  15. In the year 2014, a burglar in Minnesota was caught after he logged into his Facebook account on the home's PC and forgot to log out.
  16. Facebook, along with the other social networking sites and mobile apps that are either temporarily blocked or permanently banned in many countries including China, Iran and North Korea. However, the site is said to have 95 million users in China despite being blocked.
  17. In the initial stages of Facebook, a peer-to-peer file-sharing system called Wirehog was once a core function of the social network. The P2P file-sharing system launched just a month after the Facebook's launch in February 2004, was believed to be the central component of the site, but was later retired in 2006, over fears of potential legal repercussions of copyright infringement.
  18. The social network's user base grows by eight people per second, or 7,246 people every 15 minutes. An average American Facebook user is said to spend around 40 minutes a day on the site.
  19. In 2016, a 10-year-old Finnish boy was given $10,000 by Facebook for finding an Instagram bug, after the social network bought Instagram $1 billion. The bug reportedly allowed him to delete other user's comments.
  20. Every minute of downtime outage costs Facebook approximately $24,420. The “prolonged” outage that lasted for 19 minutes in August 2014 cost the company almost $427,000.
  21. In December 2009, the New Oxford Dictionary announced that the 2009 Word of the Year was “unfriend,” which became famous with the Facebook's "Unfriend" option that suggests removing someone from the list of friends." However, there is also some debate whether the word should be “defriend” rather than “unfriend.”
  22. In Britain, a woman was given 20 months in jail for creating fake Facebook profiles to send abusive messages to herself.
  23. Facebook launched its Bug Bounty Program on July 29, 2011, through which security researchers will be paid a minimum of $500 for reporting security holes on Facebook's website.
  24. In March 2017, the social network announced a feature that would allow users to raise money, through which the users could personally fundraise using the categories education, medical and pet health, public crisis, natural disasters, emergencies and funerals.
  25. The Facebook's famous "Like" was originally supposed to be the "Awesome" button, but it was Zuckerberg who settled on the "Like" button. The decision is said to have been met with a lukewarm reception.
  26. A 20-year-old IBM employee in Canada lost sick leave benefits from her insurer because her Facebook page showed “cheerful” photos while she was on paid sick leave for depression.
  27. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a professor of psychology, claims that though Facebook has an upside of friending people, there is also the downside of having someone unfriend or reject another person. Whitbourne refers to the unfriended persons on Facebook as victims of estrangement.
  28. In September 2015, Facebook introduced immersive 360-degree videos to users' News Feeds, becoming the first in the industry to offer scrollable panoramic photorealistic views.
  29. On July 1, 2009, shortly after Michael Jackson passed away, his page became the most popular page on Facebook. Previously, the most popular person on Facebook was U.S. then-President Barack Obama with just over 6 million fans.
  30. A study with 84 college women at Florida State University found that those who use Facebook more often were more likely to report disordered eating. While another study from the American University in Washington, DC, found that girls who scan Facebook photos are more likely to indicate body dissatisfaction.

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Facebook, 30 Surprising Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Facebook

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