Facebook's 1.1 billion users are fond of expressing themselves, communicating their identities in a variety of ways, including music.
How much? Rather than spout the usual spreadsheet statistics, Facebook recruited San Francisco design studio Stamen to create a 3D visualization of music activity on the social network.
Stamen, which specializes in mapping and data visualization, came up with "BeatQuake," a video that shows how often the top 3 songs are played each day over a 90-day period on Facebook across the continental United States. The map is part of Facebook Stories, a blog that highlights different ways people use the social network.
Each song is represented by an individual color. The map's color-coded layers rise and fall as one song overtakes another in popularity. While there is no sound accompanying the video, programmers have incorporated characteristics of each song into the map. Can you identify what that characteristic is?
Some other highlights to spot:
- "Scream & Shout" by Will.i.am and Britney Spears goes viral in the South and New York on Feb. 9, around the release of the song's Valentine's Day video.
- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop" dominates in New York, Chicago and the West Coast.
- "Don't You Worry Child" from Swedish House Mafia has a surge in Texas on Feb. 22.
Facebook's Manager of Strategic Partnerships Ime Archibong is set to present the map at the SF Music Tech Summit during a fireside chat with Brian Zisk on Tuesday morning aimed at addressing how artists and developers can leverage the social network to build apps and grow their fan bases.
For now, the project is more of an "art piece" rather than a business analysis tool, Archibong tells Billboard. But he hopes that artists and developers who see the map can propose pragmatic uses for the map.
"I’d love to hear how developers would want to use this," Archibong said. "It would be an awesome discussion to have."