The Facebook disease is fadingBy Mike Joubert 23 January 2014 | Categories: news
The love of Facebook runs hot and cold in our office, with some seeing it as a convenient way of staying in touch, and others as nothing more than a social show-off platform. According to the Guardian, researchers at Princeton University believe that Facebook is heading the same way as Myspace, going so far to declare that in 2017 the social network will only have 20% of its peak user base left.
The method used to determine this is quite interesting, comparing the growth and decline of infectious disease to that of online social networks. Using the SIR (susceptible, infected, recovered) model of disease that traces the rise and fall of epidemics, the researchers found equations that matches the growth (and eventual massive drop in user numbers) of Myspace. This model was then matched to Facebook, with researchers also taking into account the number of times people searched for Facebook in Google, noting that it peaked in December 2012.
Whether basing Facebook’s decline on that of Myspace is quite fair remains to be seen, since it was the popularity of Facebook that saw users abandon Myspace in droves. For now there is not another social network on the horizon that can challenge Facebook’s popularity, with Twitter quite content, for the most part, to share the limelight with Mark Zuckerberg’s network.
That is not to say that everyone is giving Facebook the blue thumbs-up. According to recent report from iStrategyLabs, teenagers on Facebook have declined by as much as 35.3% over the past three years, with the platform now having more than 3 million less 13-17 year old users than they had in Jan 2011. It might be because in the same period, users 55 years old and up – their parents then – thought that joining Facebook was a great idea, with numbers surging by 80.4%.
Do you think that Facebook is close to crashing? Or are you still happy with your news feed for now? Comments below please!
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