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A Facebook snapshot of our lives


A New Year’s Eve post by Democracy UK, a Facebook-supported UK political campaigning initiative, shows just what a behemoth the online social networking site has now become.

The post included a snapshot of just 20 minutes activity on Facebook, illustrating just how much the more than 500 million members now depend on the site for interacting with friends and family.

Facebook activity:

• Shared links: 1,000,000

• Tagged photos: 1,323,000

• Event invites sent out: 1,484,000

• Wall Posts: 1,587,000

• Status updates: 1,851,000

• Friend requests accepted: 1,972,000

• Photos uploaded: 2,716,000

• Comments:

• Messages: 4,632,000

Remember, that’s just 20 minutes activity, which gives us an idea of the unimaginable demands that are being placed on the processing power and storage capacity of Facebook’s servers.

But the Democracy UK post also looked at activity in another area. One of the most revealing pieces of information about any Facebook user – particularly among the younger set – is their “relationship status.” Facebook gives you quite a few options here, allowing you to choose between single, married, engaged, in a relationship, or the always-intriguing it’s complicated.

A change of status to single or it’s complicated is often the first public sign of trouble in a relationship, and such changes have even been cited as evidence in divorce cases. Based on Democracy UK’s statistics, there is clearly far more activity in this area than any of us could have imagined!

Relationship Statuses in 2010

• 43,869,800 changed their status to single

• 3,025,791 changed their status to it’s complicated

• 28,460,516 changed their status to in a relationship

• 5,974,574 changed their status to engaged

• 36,774,801 changes their status to married

Sadly, the changes to single weren’t quite offset by the changes to engaged or married, but we can take heart from the fact that it was close!

Of course, the huge membership of Facebook makes it a perfect barometer of trends and social change. As the above video illustrates, whether it’s an international rescue mission or the introduction of a new expression into our language, Facebook can track our interest to incredible levels of detail!

Comment by Tim, posted 1/3/2011, 7:47 PM:

The video and the stats are fascinating. And it kind of shows that there are real people on facebook, saying (sometimes) real things that matter. It's not all nonsensical babble when people are talking about world news, like the Chilean miners.

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