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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.