Examples of the use of the petabyte to describe data sizes in different fields are:
Telecommunications (capacity): The world's effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks was 281 petabytes of information in 1986, 471 petabytes in 1993, 2,200 petabytes in 2000, and 65,000 petabytes in 2007 (this is the informational equivalent to every person exchanging 6 newspapers per day).
Telecommunications (usage): In 2008, AT&T transferred about 30 petabytes of data through its networks each day. That number grew to 197 petabytes daily by March 2018.
Email: In May 2013, Microsoft announces that as part of their migration of Hotmail accounts to the new Outlook.com email service, they migrated over 150 petabytes of user data in six weeks.
File sharing (centralized): At its 2012 closure of file storage services, Megaupload held ~28 petabytes of user uploaded data.
File sharing (peer-to-peer): 2013 - BitTorrent Sync has transferred over 30 petabytes of data since its pre-alpha release in January 2013.
National Library: The American Memory digital archive of public domain resources hosted by the United States Library of Congress contained 15 million digital objects in 2016, comprising over 7 petabytes of digital data.
Video streaming: As of May 2013[update], Netflix had 3.14 petabytes of video "master copies", which it compresses and converts into 100 different formats for streaming.
Photos: As of January 2013[update], Facebook users had uploaded over 240 billion photos, with 350 million new photos every day. For each uploaded photo, Facebook generates and stores four images of different sizes, which translated to a total of 960 billion images and an estimated 357 petabytes of storage.
Music: One petabyte of average MP3-encoded songs (for mobile, roughly one megabyte per minute), would require 2000 years to play.
Steam, a digital distribution service, delivers over 16 petabytes of content to American users weekly.
^Gallagher, Ryan; Moltke, Henrik (25 June 2018). "The NSA's Hidden Spy Hubs in Eight U.S. Cities". The Intercept. Archived from the original on 26 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018. As of March 2018, some 197 petabytes of data – the equivalent of more than 49 trillion pages of text, or 60 billion average-sized mp3 files – traveled across its networks every business day.