Using epidemiological models normally used to study the rapid spread of infectious diseases, researchers found that Facebook has "already reached the peak of its popularity and has entered a decline phase." Facebook will lose "80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017," according to the researchers.
It may seem strange to compare a social network like Facebook with an infectious disease, but the Princeton study gives its reasons.
Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological model ... 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."
Facebook still claims 874 million users worldwide. However, the network has admitted losing younger participants, especially teens. A study by iStrategy Labs claimed that Facebook had 25 percent fewer teenage users in 2013 than it did in 2011.
And although the world has changed since Myspace faded into the past, the fact that Facebook could do something similar is somewhat disheartening. What would come next?
What do you think? Do you think Facebook has topped out and is now sliding towards the bottom? Or do you think that the Princeton University researchers got it all wrong? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.