How many photos (or photo albums) have you uploaded to Facebook? As I was writing this article, I decided to take a look at my own stash. Boy, was I in for a surprise! I have always been aware of my tendency to upload tons of photos without being very selective, thus earning the ire of some of my friends from time to time, but I didn’t think that I had shared so many photos over the years. More than 5,000 photos in 125 albums!

Facebook Photos

I understand that there people who have more than those figures, but the fact remains that Facebook users in general do not access all of those photos on a regular basis. Of those Facebook photos of mine, I believe that I barely look at around 90% of them anymore. After first few days of uploading, I tend to forget them – until a specific reason arises.

The thing is, 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every single day. And if we consider that majority of users do not use most  of their Facebook photos on a regular basis, that amounts to hundreds of millions of photos that are unloved. In fact, Facebook says that 82% of its traffic is focused on just 8% of its photos!

The good news is that these unloved Facebook photos are not deleted from the servers. For all the flak it has been receiving, the social network does realize that users will, at some point, yearn for these unloved Facebook photos and look at them again.

So where do these unloved Facebook photos go?

The answer is Facebook’s Prineville data center, where they are currently building a cold storage facility for items which are not accessed on a regular basis, that is, archived data such as those photos.

Facebook Prineville Data Center

Facebook Prineville Data Center

What’s the point of creating this cold storage facility?

The idea is to save resources without hampering the user experience. In the cold storage facility, computers will mainly be asleep, with power consumption as low as possible. When you feel nostalgic and want to see pictures of that one vacation you and your ex went on, you’ll still be able to see them, albeit not as quickly as the photos which are not in cold storage.

It’s a pretty good solution, don’t you think? You have your conveniences, and at the same time, there’s an effort to minimize the impact on the environment.

[Image via Oregon Live]