The curious collection of a slightly mad scientist
Facebook has so many users — more than a billion, or roughly the population of India — that squeezing them all into one Web page seems almost impossible.
And yet someone has done just that.
A new project, “The Faces of Facebook,” collects more than 1.27 billion Facebook profile photos on one site, arranged in chronological order according to when the person joined the social network. Users can sign in via Facebook to pinpoint their photo on the page and see where they show up in relation to their friends.
At first glance, the site looks like colorful, pixelated white noise. But users can zoom in to see individual photos and then scroll around or click on a photo to visit that person’s Facebook page. (Be warned, however: the page is experiencing heavy traffic and can be slow and buggy.)
The site launched last week and was built by Natalia Rojas, a self-described “creative technologist” in Barcelona, Spain.
“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,” she said in an e-mail to CNN. “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 said she is not breaking Facebook privacy rules because she is not storing anyone’s name, photo or private information — just linking out to public Facebook profiles. She also said she hasn’t heard from the social network, which she thinks is good news because “I was a bit worried about things like using their name in the URL.”
Facebook did not repond to CNN’s request for comment.
Check it out here: http://app.thefacesoffacebook.com/