Here’s How Facebook Uses Big Data

Two decades ago, it was quite an innovative idea that you could use the internet to easily connect with friends and family, stay updated on the events happening in a community, and share information and photos. Indeed, Facebook made all this possible, and its popularity skyrocketed within a few years. Today, over 1.8 billion people use at least one of Facebook’s family of apps, be it Instagram, Whatsapp, or Facebook Messenger, every day. The average time spent on this social media platform is around 38 minutes. Moreover, it has opened the doors to digital marketing for many businesses, and as a result, around 60 million businesses have active Facebook pages. 

The best thing about Facebook is it keeps on adding new features to the platform that aims to engage users even more. Suppose you uploaded a picture on Facebook in 2016. You could even access that picture now in 2023. What we want to say here is that Facebook stores a massive amount of user data. It is hard to imagine how much data the platform has stored to date, as now around 136,000 pictures, 510,000 comments, and 293,000 statuses are posted every second on the platform. Storing and managing such an unprecedented amount of data isn’t possible with traditional databases, and Facebook uses big data analytics to do so. 

Are you wondering how Facebook uses Big Data? Well, this article answers your query so that you have a clear idea about this topic. 


How Facebook Uses Big Data?

Big data analytics refers to the acquisition of a massive amount of raw data and transforming it into meaningful insights that finally aid in decision-making. By tracking a user’s past searches, likes, comments, or buying history, Facebook can show the user targetted ads. If these ads are accurate, the user is more likely to click on the ad and purchase it. It means the better a platform is able to analyze user data, the more conversion rates it can achieve from any ad. Well, such analysis of data isn’t only applicable in displaying ads; it is used by Facebook for many other applications. 

Here are some of them:

  • Have you seen that the news recommendation given to you on Facebook is not the same as that of your friend? This is because Facebook collects your data, such as likes, comments, shares, and posts you visit, to analyze what kind of news you would be more interested to read. In other words, by using big data, Facebook gives you a personalized News Feed. 
  • Look at the People You May Know section of Facebook; it uses big data as well. It tries to analyze the relationships between your Friends and followers, how they influence each other, and thus give you the right recommendations. For example, you may see a person on ‘People You May Know’ who has attended the same school as yours and has mutual connections. 
  • Facebook also tries to understand the emotions you express in various posts through big data. This is nothing but sentiment analysis – a way to track how people feel about different events, news, topics, or products. Based on what emotions you express frequently, it will show you similar posts and try to increase your engagement on the platform.
  • As we mentioned earlier, Facebook displays targeted ads. In addition to this, you should know that the platform also uses tracking cookies to follow its users across the web. Suppose you are signed into Facebook and then explore other websites using new tabs on the same browser. Then Facebook can even track those websites to show you personalized product recommendations.  
  • You may have also noticed the ‘Marked Safe’ feature on Facebook. People used it to mark themselves safe during a crisis or emergency. To accomplish this, Facebook uses big data to track and analyze user location data, as well as information from posts and status updates, to identify which users may be affected by an emergency. Based on this information, Facebook determines the individuals who should be notified that their friends or family members are safe.  

Over to You 

Big data analytics is a powerful technology, and the more you explore it and apply it, the more possibilities you can bring into execution. Facebook is no different, and that is the reason why it keeps on updating and bringing in more features that are powered by big data. The ones mentioned in this article are just a few ways in which big data fuel these Facebook capabilities. The Flashback feature, I Voted campaign, Celebrate Pride, Topic Data, Tag suggestions, and Facial recognition are some other noticeable applications of big data on the Facebook platform. 

You can now learn Big data through online courses by reputed training providers. If you master this skill, you can explore a number of career opportunities going forward. Data engineer, data scientist, machine learning engineer, NLP specialist, and data architect are some of the top roles where knowledge of Big data proves to be useful. Explore the world of big data, and you will see endless possibilities of it being tapped by companies across the world.       

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