The Facebook statistics look impressive to some and perhaps worrying to others. How could 500 million people spend 23 hours of every month browsing the Facebook website? That is a whopping 700 billion minutes per month.
At ClickTell, as part of a large research and Business Analytics project we have been studying the business model driven sustainability of social networking sites and the short and long term Return On Investment prospects for investors. Faced with the Facebook data, we reframed the above statistics and asked a number of different questions, one of which simply was: What are the implications of these statistics on, of all things, the global power consumption?
Our calculations estimate* the annual consequential user specific power consumption to be 28000 billion watt hours. Put another way, the global Facebook users’ power consumption over a twelve month period is equivalent to powering one million working 50-watt light bulbs constantly for a period of 64 years.
And how does this level of power consumption compare to the annual electric power consumption of, for example a country? Using the latest available figures (2008), the combined power consumption** of Jamaica, Kenya, Haiti, Latvia, Nepal, Malta and Brunei was less than our estimate for the annual global Facbook users’ power consumption.
These jaw dropping figures are not necessarily unique to Facebook. We believe other organizations whether social networking or not will benefit from reframing the “picture” they hold of their organization.
At ClickTell, we believe that in the not too distant future and before the time when energy rationing may become the norm, Governments of the world will inevitably have to perform a “true” cost/benefit analysis of such services. On the basis of this, difficult decisions would have to be made; decisions that would by today’s standards sound most undemocratic.
Please contact ClickTell to find out how we can help reframe your data and re-engineer your business model.
* For a "near-worst-case" scenario where all users use a desktop PC. Total power consumption for PC, Monitor, Router and Speaker(s) assumed to be 200 W. Note: In these calculations we have not accounted for the power consumption resulting from the running of the Facebook’s own operations and the Internet Access Network.
** Electric power consumption measures the production of power plants and combined heat and power plants less transmission, distribution, and transformation losses and own use by heat and power plants.