Researchers Predict Facebook Lifespan

By Posted in - Social Media + Influencer Engagement on January 24th, 2014

With flu season in full swing, it’s only fitting that researchers have extended epidemiological models of the disease outbreak to the tech world. And if you’re one of the 1.3 billion individuals addicted to Facebook, you better get your tissues ready.

Claiming that social networks are similar to infectious diseases, a recent study from Princeton University posits that Facebook will lose 80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017. Specifically, the study states that Facebook has already reached the peak of its popularity, and it has now entered into a decline phase (remember, just a few months ago, Facebook admitted to losing its hold over the teen segment). Note: popularity is measured according to search engine queries.

According to the study, “Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological model… Idea manifesters ultimately lose interest with the idea and no longer manifest the idea, which can be thought of as the gain of “immunity” to the idea.” 

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 9.57.30 AM

Of course, much of the study’s argument is built on the case study of MySpace’s decline in popularity. And while MySpace may certainly be considered a relative of Facebook, I’m not entirely convinced that the two are twins. With continuous innovations in mobile and cross-platform integration, Facebook has rooted itself deeply in its users’ lives.

So, should we mourn the death of Facebook? No, not yet.

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(2) awesome comment(s)...

  • Dana Hughens - Reply

    January 30, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I think all social media tools that become mainstream have the spike when we just can’t get enough of it. I might be spending less time on Facebook as I add more channels to my daily life, but I think it is here to stay for at least awhile. Hasn’t it essentially become the phone book? Isn’t it how we find businesses and people? And some businesses now use it instead of a website. So maybe we should explore the pending death of the website?? Okay, not really.

  • Carly Griffin - Reply

    January 24, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I have recently been thinking about this a lot because I seem to be spending more time on other social media sites, like Instagram or Twitter, instead of Facebook. I don’t remember the last time I posted a status, which was the main attraction of Facebook when I joined. However, I do use it for photos and sharing funny things with friends that I have found on the Internet. So, maybe Facebook won’t die, but it could evolve into something completely different.

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