Facebook is an infectious disease which will die by 2017, say Princeton researchers

David Parker January 24, 2014 0
Facebook is an infectious disease which will die by 2017, say Princeton researchers


We all know for a fact that Facebook addiction has spread in our lives like a plague. If you are one of those who are slowly trying to move away from its spell then you are probably doing just what the researchers at Princeton University have claimed. According to their research, Facebook’s popularity which has engulfed our lives like an infectious disease will slowly die out by 2017.

In their study, the researchers John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler have compared the growth curve of online social networks to that of an epidemic using equations commonly used to map the spread and recovery of epidemics. They argue that, just like any bubonic plague, Facebook too will eventually fade out. The researchers have predicted that almost 80% of the user base of Facebook will be lost with many becoming immune to its attractions and charm.


In a paper entitled Epidemiological modelling of online social network dynamics, the authors claim, “Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models. 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.

The idea of decline does not come as a surprise as we have seen a slow decline in its popularity over the past few months. We have seen users slowly moving to other social media platform like WhatsApp and Snapchat. Statistics show that the desktop traffic to the website has declined largely due to the fact that a lot of people prefer to access the platform from their mobile phones.

Facebook’s chief financial officer David Ebersman admitted that over the past three months they have seen a “decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens.”

It may be a bit too early to write off Facebook, but you never know. As for now we will have to wait for the Facebook traffic figures to be released to the investors by month end to make a solid comment.

What are your views on this research? Do write to us with your comments in the section provided below.

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