Flickr posts some numbers

Over at flickr, they had a little downtime and decided to post some numbers about how impressive they are while they’re down.

  • 12,000 photos a second at peak times
  • 2,070,075 photos in 24 hours!
  • 8.5 million registered members
  • 10 million unique tags

Some pretty impressive numbers, but nothing too crazy compared to the several other large photo sharing sites. Was discussing what sets apart photo sharing sites with a few people the other day and being able to communicate with photos is definitely a draw. Flickr stumbled across an easier way to accomplish this with tags very early on. Other sites have experimented with ideas, but it’s a difficult question on how to get people to interact with photos without trying to replicate all of the features of a pure social networking site. To go down the social networking path dilutes your strength as a photo site, but tags allows for the interaction and expression while keeping the focus on the photo.

Also just goes to show that even large sites have downtime sometimes. As much money as you spend on hardware there are always going to be single points of failure that are not hot-swappable. When you’re running a small startup, focus on the product first, scalability second, fault tolerance third. When you’re building things up from nothing you just can’t devote that much energy to making things bulletproof. There just isn’t the payoff in the end. If the products not there it doesn’t matter that you have 5 9s of uptime.