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Touring Facebook’s Gallatin data center: reaching the summit of Mount Crushmore

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It’s been a year since construction got underway on the new Facebook new data center and 1 million-square-foot campus in Gallatin, and crews are estimating it’ll be another two years before the project is fully complete.

The Gallatin facility sits on more than 900 acres, is budgeted at $800 million and marks the 13th Facebook data center in the U.S. and 17th worldwide. 

It is being built in a Gallatin industrial park next to Beretta USA’s firearms plant, a Gap distribution center, SERVPRO and American Colors paint manufacturer.

More background: Future Facebook facility to bring road upgrades, partnerships to Gallatin and Sumner County

More: Facebook is building an $800M data center in Gallatin

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More: Facebook is coming to Gallatin. Here’s how it happened

The media was recently invited to tour the area with Josh Craft, the project’s construction manager, and Melanie Roe, a Facebook spokeswoman, who answered questions and provided insights about the build.

Out of sight, out of mind

One of the most well-known features on the site is a rock crusher that construction officials have dubbed Mount Crushmore.

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So far, it has processed over one million tons of rock, which is supplying all of the project’s rock and gravel construction needs.

By the time construction is finished, crews expect Mount Crushmore to produce double that amount. It’s estimated that the facility is sitting on top of about 1.3 million cubic yards of rock – which is being repurposed into gravel that will be used across the entire campus.

By utilizing and recycling the area’s natural stone, officials say rocks aren’t having to be brought in, which is cutting down on costs, waste and community road congestion.

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Three rock crushers grind stone down to between three inches in diameter and an inch and a half. The smaller gravel will be used in sidewalks.

Clay and topsoil are also reused on site, and materials considered waste are being used in the construction of the campus’ roads and sidewalks.

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No dust, no fuss

Processing all the rock, clay and topsoil on-site can create a lot of dust – something local communities may not be noticing due to the site’s water trucks, Craft said.

Water trucks run through the site spraying water on the roads to keep dust levels down.

And several “Moby Dick” truck washing stations are positioned along the entrances of the site to keep dirt off community roads and neighboring houses clean. Vehicles drive onto the washing station where an agitator shakes and rinses the dirt off before they enter public roads.

How else is Facebook keeping construction vehicles off local roads?

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Crews are having the project’s concrete contractor, Smyrna Ready Mix, build a temporary “batch plant” on site, where concrete is mixed and ready for immediate use.

And next door, OES Equipment and Sunbelt Rentals helps keep crews supplied by providing an inventory of construction equipment available to rent or buy for routine jobs and repairs.

Connecting and cooling

Data centers enable billions of people around the world to connect every day.

Serving as the physical backbone of Facebook’s apps and services, the social media giant builds and operates some of the world’s most sustainable data centers, adding new renewable energy to each data center’s local grid.

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Once completed, Gallatin’s data center will be roughly the size of one aircraft carrier or four football fields. The two-story facility will house rows of servers, routers, firewalls and other electrical equipment in climate-controlled rooms. 

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There won’t be any air-conditioning because Facebook relies on outside air to cool the servers to temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees. 

The data centers use a combination of renewable energy, water and a fan system that brings in cold water and air to maintain a comfortable temperature. It also collects and repurposes hot air from the equipment.

Crews began setting steel for the center back in April, and officials hope the building will be completely enclosed later this fall.

The company has set a goal of going online in 2023, meaning the data center will begin starting to serve traffic, though construction may still be ongoing.

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For more information, visit facebook.com/GallatinDataCenter.

By the numbers: Gallatin’s Facebook Data Center 

12,152 tons: the amount of steel used in the project is nearly twice the amount used in the Eiffel Tower

About 5,800: the number of 10’x10’ squares of roofing being used in the project is enough to roof about 350 single-family homes

1,470 miles: the length of electrical conductors in the facility is enough to string about 431,200 guitars

About 70,000: the number of cubic yards of concrete used in the facility’s construction

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More than 3.5 million: the number of 2” screws being used in the data center

Nearly 3 million: the amount of cubic yards of rock that will have been excavated and moved upon the project’s completion

About 750: the number of workers who are currently on site 

About 1,200: the number of workers expected to be on site during the project’s peak.

100: the number of jobs the facility is expected to create 

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330 megawatts: the amount of renewable energy added to Tennessee from Facebook-contracted projects

700: the number of construction jobs supported by the project

$111 million: the amount of local investment made as a result of the project.

Katie Nixon can be reached at knixon@gannett.com or (615) 517-1285.

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

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Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses

Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.

The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.

With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.

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Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.


For the latest tech news and reviews, follow Gadgets 360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Google News. For the latest videos on gadgets and tech, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

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Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to tasneema@ndtv.com.

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Facebook Owner Meta Launches New Platform, Safety Hub to Protect Women in India

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Meta (formerly Facebook) on Thursday announced a slew of steps to protect woman users on its platform, including the launch of StopNCII.org in India that aims to combat the spread of non-consensual intimate images (NCII).

Meta has also launched the Women’s Safety Hub, which will be available in Hindi and 11 other Indian languages, that will enable more women users in India to access information about tools and resources that can help them make the most of their social media experience, while staying safe online.

This initiative by Meta will ensure women do not face a language barrier in accessing information Karuna Nain, director (global safety policy) at Meta Platforms, told reporters here.

“Safety is an integral part of Meta’s commitment to building and offering a safe online experience across the platforms and over the years the company has introduced several industry leading initiatives to protect users online.

“Furthering our effort to bolster the safety of users, we are bringing in a number of initiatives to ensure online safety of women on our platforms,” she added.

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StopNCII.org is a platform that aims to combat the spread of non-consensual intimate images (NCII).

“It gives victims control. People can come to this platform proactively, hash their intimate videos and images, share their hashes back with the platform and participating companies,” Nain said.

She explained that the platform doesn’t receive any photos and videos, and instead what they get is the hash or unique digital fingerprint/unique identifier that tells the company that this is a known piece of content that is violating. “We can proactively keep a lookout for that content on our platforms and once it”s uploaded, our review team check what”s really going on and take appropriate action if it violates our policies,” she added.

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In partnership with UK Revenge Porn Helpline, StopNCII.org builds on Meta’s NCII Pilot, an emergency programme that allows potential victims to proactively hash their intimate images so they can”t be proliferated on its platforms.

The first-of-its-kind platform, has partnered with global organisations to support the victims of NCII. In India, the platform has partnered with organisations such as Social Media Matters, Centre for Social Research, and Red Dot Foundation.

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Nain added that the company is hopeful that this becomes an industrywide initiative, so that victims can just come to this one central place to get help and support and not have to go to each and every tech platform, one by one to get help and support.

Also, Bishakha Datta (executive editor of Point of View) and Jyoti Vadehra from Centre for Social Research are the first Indian members in Meta”s Global Women”s Safety Expert Advisors. The group comprises 12 other non-profit leaders, activists, and academic experts from different parts of the world and consults Meta in the development of new policies, products and programmes to better support women on its apps.

“We are confident that with our ever-growing safety measures, women will be able to enjoy a social experience which will enable them to learn, engage and grow without any challenges.

“India is an important market for us and bringing Bishakha and Jyoti onboard to our Women”s Safety Expert Advisory Group will go a long way in further enhancing our efforts to make our platforms safer for women in India,” Nain said.

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Facebook Adds New Trend Insights in Creator Studio, Which Could Help Shape Your Posting Strategy

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Facebook’s looking to provide more content insight within Creator Studio with the rollout of a new ‘Inspiration Hub’ element, which highlights trending content and hashtags within categories related to your business Page.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by social media expert Matt Navarra, when it becomes available to you, you’ll be able to access the new Inspiration Hub from the Home tab in Creator Studio.

At the right side of the screen, you can see the first of the new insights, with trending hashtags and videos from the last 24 hours, posted by Pages similar to yours, displayed above a ‘See more’ prompt.

When you tap through to the new hub, you’ll have a range of additional filters to check out trending content from across Facebook, including Page category, content type, region, and more.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

That could be hugely valuable in learning what Facebook users are responding to, and what people within your target market are engaging with in the app.

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The Hub also includes insights into trending hashtags, within your chosen timeframe, which may further assist in tapping into trending discussions.

Facebook Inspiration Hub

How valuable hashtags are on Facebook is still up for debate, but you’ll also note that you can filter the displayed results by platform, so you can additionally display Instagram hashtag trends as well, which could be very valuable in maximizing your reach.

Much of this type of info has been available within CrowdTangle, Facebook’s analytics platform for journalists, for some time, but not everyone can access CrowdTangle data, which could make this an even more valuable proposition for many marketers.

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Of course, overall performance really relates to your own creative, and thinking through the action that you want your audience to take when reading your posts. But in terms of detecting new content trends, including hashtag usage, caption length, videos versus image posts, and more, there’s a lot that could be gleaned from these tools and filters.

It’s a significant analytics addition – we’ve asked Facebook for more info on the rollout of the new option, and whether it’s already beyond test mode, etc. We’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

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