Facebook has mapped itself. An intern in the engineering department was exploring the geographic relationship between a users and their friends, surmising that most friends will live close by. Indeed, that’s what he saw. Cities that have a large number of friendships between them were connected with bright white lines, while those with fewer friendships were paired with dim blue lines.
The map’s bright spots largely mirror major population centers, with a few caveats. Places that lack Internet access are obviously missing from the map (large portions of Africa, for example), but most conspicuous in its absence is China and its growing population of Internet users. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong stand out as bright spots in eastern Asia, but China appears as a void on the map. Not too surprising, given the Chinese government’s rocky history with the site and Chinese users’ preference for the homegrown QQ.