A new Princeton University study predicts Facebook will go the way of MySpace and face extinction by 2017, when an estimated 80 percent of its users will abandon the leading social media platform.
According to the study, Facebook is “just beginning to show the onset of an abandonment phase,” and that “a rapid decline in Facebook activity in the next few years” will lead to a substantial loss of overall users in three years’ time.
Two researchers in Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering used a study model of the spread and decline of disease and actual data from from the rise and fall of formerly popular social media network MySpace to make their predictions. So far, Facebook has followed the MySpace trend from both a use and business perspective.
Facebook held its initial public offering in 2012, and after a shaky start as a result of overvaluing by investor speculation, rose to $140 billion at the time of the study’s publication last week. Similarly, MySpace stock rose to $580 million in 2005 when it was purchased by News Corp, which subsequently sold it at a massive loss for $35 million six years later.
While commenting on the study, Yahoo Finance columnist Michael Santoli predicted Facebook will still be in use, but as more of a communication platform like Microsoft’s Outlook rather than a hub of trending social media activity.
“I think enthusiasm for Facebook will wane, but usage will not,” Santoli said Wednesday on Hot Stock Minute. “It’s just going to become this kind of integral part.”