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Have Any Concept Of What A Billion Is?

(Duncan@Flickr)

We were talking yesterday about Facebook and its 1.1 billion accounts. It took a little over eight years to reach that level, but most of us just don’t have a concept of how big a number one billion is. And for Facebook to reach that level of users in eight years is incredible.

Let’s first take a look at a million. If you were able to count every number from one to a million and you were able to say each number every second it would take you a million seconds to do it…..assuming you could say something like five-hundred fifty-seven thousand, three hundred twenty-seven in just one second. If you do the math one million seconds works out to a little over 11 and a half days. No sleep, no eating, nothing but counting numbers for 11 and a half days you’d reach a million.

Now let’s look at a billion. A billion is a thousand million.

How long would it take to count to a billion? Let’s put it this way. Same scenario – one number a second continuously for a billion seconds. Nothing else – just counting. It would take longer than I’ve been working here.

If you consider there are 31,536,000 seconds in a year and divide a billion by that number it works out to be 31 years, 251 days, 7 hours, 46 minutes, and 39 seconds to count to 1 billion.

And Facebook reached a billion users in eight years? That would mean four new accounts were created every second for eight years.

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