Facebook like an infectious disease, will lose 80 percent of use - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Facebook like an infectious disease, will lose 80 percent of users, says Princeton study

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Keith Wagstaff NBC News

Have you been infected with Facebook?

Don't worry, like a viral outbreak, Facebook use will explode before plummeting down to Myspace levels of obscurity, says a new study from Princeton University.

Using epidemiological models used to study the rapid spread of disease, the researchers found that Facebook has "already reached the peak of its popularity and has entered a decline phase." 

How bad will it get? Facebook will lose "80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017," according to the researcers. To explain why social networks are like infectious diseases, the study pointed to similar research done with ideas.

This study hasn't been peer-reviewed and Facebook, which currently boasts 874 million users worldwide, would certainly object to being compared to a viral epidemic. But the company itself admitted in October to losing teen users. Later, a study by digital consultancy iStrategy Labs claimed that Facebook had 25 percent fewer teenage users in 2013 than it did in 2011. (Apparently, American teens are susceptible to a new virus called Snapchat).

This graph, comparing Facebook's rise-and-fall to that of Myspace, can't be very reassuring to the company's executives in Menlo Park, Calif.

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