People predict the death of Facebook, even though it won't go away
Every couple of weeks, the death of Facebook is predicted either by us or other people. Possibly through hope rather than based in any kind of reality. Fact is, their views on privacy can be hugely problematic, the fact that it isn't immediately obvious how to work the network is a pain... new algorithms mean that your news feed now has posts disappear, old status loiter around for no reason and Buzzfeed articles get preference over everything else, it seems that, if someone was to release it as a new product in 2014, you'd laugh in their faces.
Yet we hope; and new research suggests that a recent spike in figures with Facebook is like an illness getting stronger, shortly before it vanishes. The research reckons Facebook will Do A Myspace and by 2017, will have lost 80% of users.
John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler of Princeton deduce that Facebook is set for a massive fall. They say: "Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models."
They think that Facebook has been in decline in terms of data usage since 2012 and that the site will shrink to 20% of its maximum size by December 2014: "Extrapolating the best model into the future suggests that Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years, losing 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.”
However, research from one camp suggests that young people are gravitating away from Facebook while other studies say that it is still the most popular social network with young users. Of course, both of these could be true.
Facebook's shares are doing well this week, so we'll have to wait and see if this a social network getting stronger or peaking before perishing.