How Facebook stores so much data and its statistics

Shirsha Datta
4 min readSep 17, 2020

So what is BigData?

The term “big data” refers to data that is so large, fast, or complex. But this is a problem in the real-world, as to how to store such enormous data.

Ever wondered how does Facebook manages the number of users and provides a customized feed for each and every one. 🤔

Can you guess the number of Facebook users?

The app counts 2.45 billion users, as of Q3 2019.

So here it is. Let me give you some more facts about Facebook:

  • India is the single biggest Facebook market, with 269 million users (Q2 2019), followed by the US (183 million), and Indonesia (123 million)
  • Facebook users watch 100 million hours of video content on Facebook per day
  • There are 90 million business pages on Facebook; 140 million businesses use Facebook every month
  • 85% of US businesses have used Facebook as a marketing platform since 2016
  • 80.4% of social referrals to eCommerce sites come through Facebook
  • As of the third quarter of 2019, total monthly active Facebook users numbered 2.45 billion, making it comfortably the world’s largest social media platform. To give this a bit of perspective, this is 1 billion more people than currently live in China.
  • There are 7 million active advertisers on Facebook

You can see the HUGE FIGURES right. And the most amazing part is that these figures continue to rise.

✨Stats of Facebook Users

A year prior, in Q3 2018, the figure stood at 2.27 billion, and 2.07 billion a year before. After WhatsApp, it was the most-used mobile app in this same period, according to the same source. And after another stablemate, Facebook Messenger, it was the most-downloaded app.

Total Facebook users, Q3 2008 — Q2 2019

As we can see below, it is 450 million ahead of YouTube, which is the only thing that comes anywhere near it in terms of the active user base (the below stats refer to Facebook’s Q2 user base). We might also note that in third and fourth place we find WhatsApp (1.6 billion users) and Facebook Messenger (1.3 billion). Ostensibly rivals for the accolade of biggest messenger apps, both are ultimately part of the same Facebook stable. The fourth member, Instagram, is in sixth position (1 billion).

Facebook MAU vs. other social media, October 2019

If you needed quantification of Facebook’s somewhat terrifying hold over the way we communicate in the 21st century, there you have it.

✨Stats of Facebook Daily Active Users

Facebook reveals daily active user figures in its quarterly statements. In Q3 2019, this figure came to 1.62 billion, up from 1.50 billion a year prior, and from 1.59 billion the quarter before. In percentage terms, this means that a rather stunning 66% of Facebook users around the world use the app every single day.

Facebook Daily Active Users, Q1 2011 — Q3 2019

We can see that DAU has been growing at what can fairly be described as an even rate since 2011.

✨Stats of Facebook Stories

Facebook’s mighty grip over the internet is further exemplified by the case of Facebook Stories. We’ve heard a lot about Instagram Stories, and how it left the likes of Snapchat for dead in terms of overall user numbers. W­ell, the far-less discussed, and less glamorous Facebook Stories (on a medium more associated with quotidian banality than jet setting opulence), counts no fewer than 500 million daily users. This puts it on a level with its much more widely-discussed stablemate. We might note Facebook’s WhatsApp Stories.

Facebook Stories daily active users vs. other Stories apps

This is just the statistical analysis of the massive amount of data used by Facebook. All the tech-giant companies like Google, YouTube, Instagram uses nearly the same amount of data.

Now everybody must be curious to know how do these companies manage such a huge amount of data🤔🧐


Systems are connected in the master-slave architecture forming a distributed storage cluster. Let me give you an example of the same (but in a very small context). Suppose you have a PC with 16GB RAM and 500GB Hard disk. But still, you are falling short of space and compute units. Even your friend has the same issues. What will you do now, connect both the PC’s with the help of Networking and you are good to go.

Facebook storage database

To implement these concepts there are multiple tools in the market like

  • Apache Hadoop
  • Ceph
  • GlusterFS
  • AWS S3

Thank you! Hope you liked the article and learned something new in the process. 🤗

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Shirsha Datta

I am a DevOps Enthusiast and recently taken to Cloud Computing. Learning Flutter App Development currently. In my free time I engage in competitive coding.