Facebook share price: Social network seen losing 80 percent of its users by 2017

on Jan 22, 2014
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

iNVEZZ.com, Wednesday, January 22: Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), the world’s largest social networking website, could lose 80 percent of its users by 2017, according to a study published on Friday.

Researchers at Princeton University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering found that social networks and infectious diseases follow similar patterns in the way they spread among the population and ultimately die off, and that led them to the conclusion that Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years.
It should be noted, however, that the study has not been peer-reviewed, and according to Eric Markowitz of social news network Vocativ, it should be taken with a pinch of salt.

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Investors were seemingly unbothered yesterday by this apocalyptic prediction for Facebook, with the company’s shares closing on the Nasdaq nearly four percent higher at $58.51. The stock added a further 0.5 percent to $58.80 in today’s pre-market as of 13:53 UTC.
**The MySpace example**
“Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models,” the authors write in their study.

“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.”
To illustrate their view, the authors pointed to MySpace – the most popular social network in the days before the Facebook ‘disease’ had gone viral.

“MySpace, founded in 2003, reached its peak in 2008 with 75.9 million unique monthly visits in the US, before subsequently decaying to obscurity by 2011,” the study says.
While, it’s debatable whether the MySpace example holds any merit in this particular situation, since Facebook arguably contributed in a big way to the service’s demise, it does illustrate one point: users are prone to abandoning a service in favour of a newer and/or better competitor. It just so happened that for MySpace that competitor came in the form of Facebook.

**Has the decline started?**
The researchers used Google search query data as a proxy for social network usership to build a graph, illustrating the rise and fall of MySpace and Facebook respectively. The Facebook curve shows a decline in search activity starting in 2013. This collaborates with several reports last year that Facebook has lost some of its younger audience, which has migrated to other services such as popular mobile chat apps and Twitter. During the company’s third-quarter earning’s call in October, CFO David Ebersman admitted that the company had seen “a decrease in daily users specifically among younger teens”.
**As of 14:44 UTC buy Facebook shares at $58.73**
**As of 14:44 UTC sell Facebook shares at $58.72**
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