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

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

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. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Batten down the hatches, Ubuntu 14.04 LTS due in TWO DAYS
Admins dab straining server brows in advance of Trusty Tahr's long-term support landing
Inside the Hekaton: SQL Server 2014's database engine deconstructed
Nadella's database sqares the circle of cheap memory vs speed
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE
Pre-Update versions of new Windows version will no longer support patches
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.