Gaze into the faces of all 1.2 billion Facebook users

There they are, right there in a single screen capture. It's burning me eyes, and making me dizzy.


Published Sep 29, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 5:24 am CDT


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There they are, right there in a single screen capture. It’s burning me eyes, and making me dizzy.

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Here’s the thing. As much as I can’t technology and can’t socially network myself and generally can’t slash hate thinking about the potential butterfly effects that shockwave around the “new media paradigm” (ugh) each time Zuckerberg scratches his balls, I like to think that, way back when, I was actually pretty early to Facebook The Facebook. I was one of the first 3,000 or so American undergraduate students to sign up on the site. At the time I was just some non-Ivy League schlub going to a state university in the Midwest. Sayin.

So if I really wanted to, I could sit for who knows how long and pinpoint myself on The Faces of Facebook, a new and staggeringly ambitious interactive visualization by creative technologist Natalia Rojas from which the above screengrab was pulled. Rojas used a suite of coding programs to arrange every last profile image from Facebook’s 1,258,244,934 users (and counting) chronologically in terms of registration date. Once combined, all those selfies and shitball organization logos and whatever else randomize into some sort of mega-pixelated static. It so bloated it’s basically white non-noise. 

I won’t look for myself, of course, because I’d rather my eyes not feel like they’ve been set on fire, and not feel like I’m about to blow chunks. No one wants that. 

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Anyway, if youre worried Rojas is breaking the rules, don’t be: “We don’t store anyone’s private information, pictures or names,” Rojas explains on the site. “We’ve just found a harmless way to show [all] Facebook profile pictures and organize them in chronological order.”

In other news, I bet you feel very alone right now. 

Photo via the Faces of Facebook


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*First Published: Sep 29, 2013, 11:28 am CDT