Not all internships are about making the coffee!

Facebook started it all. They have 750M+ users. They have a movie.  They attract the best talent in the World by being “social”. What a waste of time. Not.

In a nice effort to make themselves look like their $25Billion+ valuation is well deserved, Facebook published some data visualization on what 10 million Facebook friendships look like.

Paul is an intern on Facebook’s data infrastructure engineering team. I guess they have more fun internships over there and I’m sure a culture of agility and innovation that is the envy of every supertanker-fast Fortune 100 corporation.

Social Business for the Win! (or #FTW) as the millennial generation might say!

Here’s the full article at

After a few minutes of rendering, the new plot appeared, and I was a bit taken aback by what I saw. The blob had turned into a surprisingly detailed map of the world. Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well. What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while traveling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life.

Later I replaced the lines with great circle arcs, which are the shortest routes between two points on the Earth. Because the Earth is a sphere, these are often not straight lines on the projection.

When I shared the image with others within Facebook, it resonated with many people. It’s not just a pretty picture, it’s a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even across oceans and borders.


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