23.01 2018 16:23h

Facebook has created a new unit of time

It’s equivalent to 1/705600000th of a second
Facebook, Facebook news

Brace yourself, this one is for the techies.

Facebook's virtual reality division has come up with a new unit of time.


Known as a "flick", the unit measures the speed of digital audio and video. It is equivalent to 1/705600000th of a second.

Is that even possible?!?

Yep. Apparently, in programming world it is.

1/705600000th of a second might not seem that special to the average person, but (as Tech Crunch has pointed out) it divides evenly into 8, 16, 22.05, 24, 25, 30, 32, 44.1, 48, 50, 60, 90, 100 and 120.

Notice a pattern? These numbers are all framerates or frequencies used in encoding, or showing films and music.

Essentially, flicks are designed to help measure individual frame duration for video frame rates. So whether your video is 24hz or 120hz, you’ll be able to use flicks to ensure that everything is in sync while still using whole integers (instead of decimals).

According to CNBC, one of the creators of Flicks is Christopher Horvath. He's a former architect with Facebook's Story Studio and left that team in May, switching over to Facebook's social virtual reality unit.

Horvath posted how excited he was about the invention in a Facebook post.

On GitHub Facebook defines a flick as "a unit of time defined in [the programming language] C++". 

Essentially, if you work in media and need to edit clips, soundbites or video footage this new unit of time will make things a lot easier on your editing program. 

Other than that, don't worry too much about it. Unless your job involves splicing video clips, you probably won't come across this new unit of time in your everyday life.

What are your thoughts on "flicks"? Let us know in the comments below.


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