Facebook to retain mere 20% of its current user base by 2017 claims study

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According to US researchers, Facebook is like an infectious disease which is experiencing a spike before its decline and by 2017 will only retain 20 percent of its current user base.

Two researchers from Princeton University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler, have claimed that world’s biggest social network is moving towards a rapid decline within the next few years. Through their research the duo has claimed that Facebook will lose up to 80 percent of its user base over the next three years.

The Princeton engineers made use of an “epidemiology model” to make their prediction. They used the model to describe the user activity dynamics of various online social networks, using publicly available Google data.

In the paper published online at a scientific research archive [still in draft stage], the researchers wrote, “Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models.”

“Facebook is expected to undergo rapid decline in the upcoming years, shrinking to 20 percent of its maximum size by December 2014.”

Researchers claim that “Facebook will undergo a rapid decline” and will lose “80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.”

The engineers predict that Facebook, which will celebrate its 10th birthday on February 4, could face a similar fate to Myspace. Myspace reached its peak user base in 2008 and died out in 2011, when it was sold at a loss for $35 million.

Late last year there were reports that Facebook was ‘dead and buried‘ to teenagers and that they were migrating to other platforms. A study conducted by Global Web Index (GWI) and published before a couple of days claimed that news of Facebook’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.