Feeds

Facebook will LOSE 80% of its users by 2017 – epidemiological study

Just like an outbreak of the Ebola virus, stalkbooking will eventually run its course

Boost IT visibility and business value

The internet has seized with glee on a Princeton research paper that suggests Facebook will be a virtually abandoned, tumbleweed-riddled corner of the web by 2017, when the social network's "outbreak" will have run its course.

Princeton PhD students Joshua Spechler and Johan Cannarella used epidemiological modelling, traditionally employed to track the growth patterns of infectious diseases, to predict Facebook's imminent demise, citing the way that MySpace peaked in 2008 and then rapidly disappeared in three years.

According to the students' paper, Facebook is "just beginning to show the onset of an abandonment phase", after reaching its popularity peak in 2012, which will lead to it losing 80 per cent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.

The paper, which has yet to be peer-reviewed and is available here (PDF), uses Google search query data to determine popularity and shows a downward trend in search frequency from last year.

Whether or not the paper stands up to academic scrutiny remains to be seen, but the study has certainly stirred up some mild controversy and few belly laughs from the gallery.

Tech analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group gave MarketWatch a somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment on the research.

"I'm sure [Facebook CEO Mark] Zuckerberg loves being compared to Typhoid Mary," he joked.

“If the disease model holds, it suggests that Facebook will need to evolve/mutate in order to begin another curve or it will die out. It has to overcome the immunisation cycle,” he added. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.