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“There is a mix of people from all over the world. And somehow we are all telling our friends: ‘Look, this is me, when I like myself.'”
Natalia Rojas, Author, in CNN
Everyday, we log in to Facebook to check up on our friends, find out the news, and share what’s happening with our social media circles. And while those circles are ever-widening, they’re anchored in the curated boundaries we set for ourselves, seeking out who we like and whose posts to “Like.” But what if we could take a top-down view of the social network—or a bird’s eye view, capturing in one glance the presence of the throngs of people who live their lives online day after day.
This is the mission of creative technologist Natalia Rojas’s Faces of Facebook app, which pulls public information from 1.2 billion Facebook profiles together into a visually arresting mosaic that users can explore—zooming in so far that from the teeming e-masses, they can examine the uniqueness of individual profiles, including their own.
The simple concept of aggregating Facebook profiles is made visually arresting in Rojas’s minimalist interface, which assigns a number to each profile. The shifting numbers overlaid on names and faces act as a cue to encourage users to continue sifting through the billions of names and faces the project captures. While it doesn’t set out to tell a particular story, Faces of Facebook does tell one telling tale: perhaps part of the meaning of Facebook is that it is more than the sum of its 1.2 billion parts.