Facebook Ups Photo Size by Almost 20%

Facebook recently announced that it has increased the maximum size of photographs from 604 pixels to 720 pixels, a difference of 19.2%. They posted the above photograph showing the relative difference in size.

While this is pretty exciting news for those of you who upload your photographs to Facebook (how many of you are there, really?), this is actually a much bigger deal for the company that most people probably realize. With a 20% increase in the size of photograph they allow, they increase their storage demands by at least 20%.

20% for a smaller photo sharing service might not be too significant, but for Facebook it’s a huge change. Why? Because Facebook is the most popular photo sharing service on the web. We’re talking billions of photographs per month, and petabytes of total storage. Just how much data is a petabyte? Check out this neat infographic by Mozy.

Don’t worry though. Facebook’s revenues are expected to be up to $2 billion this year.

P.S. Did we mention we love the prefix “peta”?

  • nathanyan

    Storage is going to be proportional to the number of pixels, which is proportional to the side length by a *squared* factor. E.g.:

    604×604 image = 364,816px
    720×720 image = 518,400px

    518,400/364,816 = ~1.42

    which you'll notice is not 1.2x at all, but it is (720/604)^2 = (1.192)^2

  • Eric Means

    You're ignoring compression, which will offset some of the increase.

  • Michael Zhang

    Thanks for the input =)

    So many with the squared increase and compression offset the end result is around 20% ;-)

  • kingkool68

    Let's not be dufuses here guys. Facebook already stores photos larger than the maximum size that they display. They do that because you never know down the line how things might change. Now they can just run the originals through their resizing script and no one is none the wiser.

  • nathanyan

    I don't know if they'll actually be doing this – so far I haven't seen any older images being resized.

  • Mr. Johaneman

    The increase is still 1.42 in terms of pixels. Also, since at 604×604 it was already compressed, the relative size increase of the 720×720 images will also still be around 1.42 times.

  • Mario Guarneros

    I believe this statement is not accurate (but then again it might be impossible to know for sure):

    “Because Facebook is the most popular photo sharing service on the web”.

    You rarely find people in blogs and websites linking to Facebook Galleries, instead people use FLICKR the most for this kind of photo sharing.

    I know facebook serves more pageviews than any other website of its kind (or maybe all kinds) but as stated on this video: Flickr still is ahead of facebook on photo sharing, u can fast forward to minute 1:50 to see this info.

    Also in this animation you can see how big facebook really is but as we all know FB is not only serving that amount of pageviews strictly on photo sharing so I think they still have a lot to do, for instance make it easier (and customize) to link to a particular photo and not just full galleries.

    Then again that's just how I see it, maybe I am missing some key info.

  • Michael Zhang

    We meant in terms of users and how many photos are uploaded to it.

  • Mario Guarneros

    Oh I see, well I don't know the actual figures of the sites involved so I'll happily take your word for it ; )

    Well spotted guys.



  • Pingback: Facebook Increases Maximum Photo Size to 2048px, Adds Lightbox()

  • Pingback: Facebook Upgrades Photos with Larger Sizes and Faster Load Times()