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

High performance access to file storage

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

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
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
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
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
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'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.