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Study: Facebook is on the way out -- will lose 80 percent of users

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 23rd, 2014
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

There comes a time when everyone who is supposed to use a certain thing "uses it," and then - moves on to something else. While Facebook rules the roost in terms of social networking sites, and enjoys high volume and popularity, it will soon be as irrelevant old and antiquated as MySpace, according to a Princeton University study.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Facebook is undoubtedly infectious, and in that spirit, the new study from Princeton used epidemiological models used to study the rapid spread of disease. Researchers found that Facebook has "already reached the peak of its popularity and has entered a decline phase."

The prognosis is bleak. Facebook will lose "80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017," according to the researchers. To justify the analogy between social networking sites and infectious diseases, the study pointed to similar research done with ideas.

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Ideas, like diseases, the researchers argue, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out. They have been successfully described with epidemiological model. Sooner or later, 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, which currently boasts 874 million users worldwide, would probably object to being compared to a viral epidemic. Facebook, however, had admitted in October to losing teen users. A study by digital consultancy iStrategy Labs claimed that Facebook had 25 percent fewer teenage users in 2013 than it did in 2011. American teenagers have reportedly been drifting to a new virus called Snapchat.

It must be admitted that the online landscape is different now than it was in 2005, when News Corp. bought MySpace for $580 million. Could one imagine a world without Facebook? A world without endless game requests, tired jokes, appeals for fundraisers, invitations to events a world away or annoying ads for sexually explicit products.

In a word: Hopefully. 

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