(MENLO PARK, Calif.) — We knew that the Human Right Campaign’s (HRC) red and pink logo in support of gay marriage had spread across the web at a record pace, but Facebook is now confirming that with some numbers.
Facebook says that millions of people change their profile photos every day, but on Tuesday, March 26, the day the HRC asked gay marriage supporters to “paint the town red” with a new logo, 2.7 million more users changed their photo compared with the previous Tuesday. Profile photo uploads were up by 120 percent, it says. Facebook has more than a billion users.
Facebook doesn’t have exact numbers on whether all those users changed it to the pink and red logo or some variation of it. Facebook did confirm that the rise in uploads occurred after the HRC released its status message encouraging people to change their pictures in support of gay marriage.
“We find that the increase in uploads does indeed start around the time when HRC began urging their Facebook followers to change their profile photos at 1 p.m. EST,” Facebook’s Data Science Team said in a blog post Friday.
Wondering how old many of the profile photo-switchers were? Facebook also says that more people around age 30 changed their profile photo, in comparison to the previous Tuesday. According to the data, “roughly 3.5 percent of 30-year-old Facebook users updated their profiles in response to the events surrounding the HRC campaign.”
According to the released data, support shown via the photo change was spread across the country, but a county in Michigan — Wahtenaw County — topped the list, with approximately 6.2 percent of people who logged in from that county changing their profile photo in response to the campaign. It also appears that people in college towns were more apt to change their photos; among the highest towns were Orange (University of North Carolina), Durham (Duke University) and Monroe (Indiana University). San Francisco County and Washington, D.C., also ranked highly.
Since being released on Tuesday, the logo has made its way around the web in many different incarnations.
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