Two researchers at Princeton University have caused a stir far beyond academic circles by predicting the imminent demise of Facebook, based on a comparison of the social network’s growth to a viral event—literally viral, such as a severe outbreak of the flu.
Facebook grew like a virus and it will die just like a virus, they conclude, raging ahead until it reaches maximum global impact, and then starting a long, speedy slide towards oblivion.
In fact, they conclude, Facebook has already peaked. It entered its decline phase after 2012, and it will lose 80% of its user base between 2015 and 2017.
Their conclusion is in part based on a comparison of Facebook’s arc to that of one of its predecessors in social media, MySpace.