Your photos on Facebook are actually not on Facebook

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...


Have you ever wondered what is the site called akamaihd you see when downloading photos from facebook?

And why your photos on facebook are on a different site than facebook?

Do you know what is CDN? Read this article then.

Your phots on facebook are actually not on Facebook

Before we start, I would like you to perform this simple experiment.

Goto your facebook account, check for any picture like profile pic, image in a news feed or any thumbnail. Right click on the image and Click on ‘Open image in a new tab’ (I am assuming you are using Google Chrome).

Once you have opened the image in a new tab, check the address bar.

You will find something like this,

relation between akamaihd and facebookNotice the domain in the URL. So the image which you found on facebook is actually hosted on Are you surprised? Maybe not, if you didn’t understand whats really going on.

Let me explain, The photos which you upload to facebook, are actually being uploaded to Now the question is, What is and Why are your photos hosted on

What is

Akamai Technologies is actually a CDN, where CDN stands for Content Delivery Network. This answers almost everything if you know how CDN works. We’ll talk about CDN in this post, but first lets check out a fun fact about Akamai.

Akamai is pronounced as Acme. Does it sound familiar to you? Acme was a fictional corporation in Roadrunner Cartoons. It used to provide several products which would fail at the worst times.


Image Source

What is a CDN ?

A CDN (content delivery network) will receive your data and place it on several different servers all over the world. This makes that particular content to load faster for anyone who wants to access it. This is because the content will be delivered to the end user from the nearest possible server holding the content.

Without CDN, the content will reside only on one server. And thus the users who are close to the server can access the content faster than the users who are away from it.

For example, If my content is located on a server in India. Then users in Asia will have better latency (less time delay) compared to users from America, Europe or Australia.

Why facebook photos are uploaded to ?

Akamai has several CDN networks, where is one of the CDN. Facebook is a large network and it has to deliver data at faster speeds to each and every user. And to do so, it requires a CDN.

Facebook uses as CDN. This is why your photos are uploaded to akamaihd and not to facebook. So whenever you request to view a photo on facebook, your request is actually sent to the nearest possible akamaihd server. This server returns the requested photo. And since its the nearest possible server, you will get the requested photo with a minimum time delay.

More Info

Previous year, Many people faced a problem in which the images on their facebook account were not loading. I don’t know if you witnessed this or not. But this might have happened because facebook blocked the servers on a temporary basis, maybe for maintenance purposes or for pushing new updates.

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