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Facebook users will drop like flies in 2017 with 80 percent likely to flee

University study likens social network to an 'infectious disease'
Thu Jan 23 2014, 16:11
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SOCIAL NETWORK Facebook will lose 80 percent of its users in three years, a study paper from Princeton University has claimed, comparing the social network to the spread of "infectious disease" in humans.

The study by the university's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering claimed that the demise of Facebook will happen due to an aggressive decline in its user base between 2015 and 2017. The report used Myspace as an example of how adoption and abandonment of social media can mimic the spread of disease.

Like Myspace, which was founded in 2003, peaked in 2008 and died by 2011, Facebook will crash and burn due to loss of interest shown between social media users and eventually, their peers, the study claimed.

"Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models," the researchers wrote in their paper, entitled "Epidemiological modelling of online social network dynamics".

"Ideas are spread through communicative contact between different people who share ideas with each other. Idea manifesters ultimately lose interest with the idea and no longer manifest the idea, which can be thought of as the gain of 'immunity' to the idea."

According to the study, Facebook has already "reached the peak of its popularity" and its numbers are in decline, which can be seen by its slump in search frequency after 2012.

The report concluded that as users start jumping the Facebook ship, "recovery" will spread infectiously, meaning that others will soon follow suit after their friends have decided they've had enough. µ

 

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