New Website Creates Map of 1.2 Billion Facebook Profile Pictures

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A new website has launched that maps out over 1.2 billion users Facebook profile pictures chronologically based on when they joined the site. The project is called Faces of Facebook and allows users to sign in and pinpoint their photo on the new website to see how they compare to other people. Natalia Rojas, a creative technologist from Barcelona Spain, spent a year and a half in order to complete this project. She stated “I was playing around with Facebook API, and I discovered that there is a way to access everyone’s public information with a very simple (but not obvious) algorithm. At that time, I thought I could do something beautiful/interesting with that, like showing them all together. Then I started to write the code to achieve it.” Rojas is not breaking any Facebook privacy rules because she is simply linking out to public profiles, not storing anyone’s information anywhere.

Rojas said the hardest part of the project was removing the blank silhouettes from the profiles that no longer had profile pictures or were inactive. Her inspiration came from the idea that “each Facebook profile photo is an example of that person’s best self, and that millions of those images together combine to present a positive, universal message.” When we post a profile picture, we are saying “Look, this is me, when I like myself. Feeling happy, being creative, looking good, being passionate about something, proud of something, enjoying the life.” Rojas also put out a challenge: try to BE your profile picture. Try to be that happy, creative, enjoyable person that you are presenting to the rest of the world. If everyone strived to be who they are on social media, the world might become a more positive place.


Faces of Facebook website:

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