Facebook fights back, claims Princeton will lose all students by 2021

By on January 24, 2014, 11:30 AM

Not to be outdone by Princeton’s recent paper predicting the death of Facebook by 2017, the social network’s own “scientists” have applied the school’s same robust methodology to, well, Princeton University. In keeping with the same principle of “correlation equals causation,” Facebook soon realized an “alarming trend” of their own: Princeton will have no students at all by 2021.

If you recall, Princeton attempted to liken Facebook to an epidemic spreading through society like a contagious disease. Once users have become immune to the site’s attraction, the paper noted, they will eventually lose interest. Researchers predict that will happen sometime between 2015 and 2017.

Key to Princeton’s research is search data. The team noted that searches for “Facebook” have been on the decline since 2012 so that must mean people are visiting the site less, right? Well, it’s obvious to see how this method of thinking can be flawed in so many ways.

Sure, when Facebook was beginning to take off several years ago, it’s easy to see how many people would have used a search engine to access the site. But over time, people will have either memorized the ridiculously easy URL, added a bookmark for the site or even more damning, started accessing exclusively on a mobile device via a dedicated app.

Of course, that’s not to say that Facebook isn’t without its own set of faults as it continues to face increased pressure from teen-friendly apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp. But do you really think the site will fade away in just three years’ time?

MySpace may have vanished rather quickly, yes, but lest we forget that it was because of Facebook.




User Comments: 14

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4 people like this | Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

As much as I may generally dislike Facebook, this is a brilliant counter-example to point out how you can take any arbitrary data and correlate it to "prove" any theory you might entertain.

It should really embarrass a prestigious school like Princeton to have thrown such a half-assed prediction out into the world... I'm sure this little Facebook rebuttal will help in that regard.

Guest said:

Hahaha this is hilarious. Go back to school noobs.

wiyosaya said:

IMHO, it sounds like Princeton treats this as if it were a virus. The more people with a virus have contact with those who do not, the more it spreads. As I see it, this viewpoint is not that far off from reality. To me, Facebook is yet another fad. Fads come and fads go just like viruses. Humans have a pack mentality, and keeping up with the Jones' is important to some, and if you are not on Facebook right now, you are just not keeping up with the Jones'. Others, like myself, have no interest in the site, as I could care less about what the Jones' are doing.

Fads fade. Will 80% of the current users stop using it? That is hard to tell. What might make it more difficult to tell if the user base is still as large three years from now is the fact that people might just stop using it without going through the tedious process of "completely" deleting their account. Facebook will almost certainly hang onto every single user account that they possibly can for as long as they can because the more users they have the more money they make, perhaps even if those accounts are no longer actively used.

wiyosaya said:

Princeton, OTOH, has a reputation gleaned over 100s of years, and, IMHO, it is childish for Facebook "scientists" to claim that Princeton will have no students by 2021.

wastedkill said:

Princeton, OTOH, has a reputation gleaned over 100s of years, and, IMHO, it is childish for Facebook "scientists" to claim that Princeton will have no students by 2021.

Its even more childish for princeton students to say facebook will fade in just 3 years it kinda shows how stupid princeton people are if you think about it logically.

Jim$ter said:

HAHA Nice Burn

JC713 JC713 said:

As much as I may generally dislike Facebook, this is a brilliant counter-example to point out how you can take any arbitrary data and correlate it to "prove" any theory you might entertain.

It should really embarrass a prestigious school like Princeton to have thrown such a half-assed prediction out into the world... I'm sure this little Facebook rebuttal will help in that regard.

Yeah, well said.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

You know! Looking at those last four dots, they have a steeper decline that points closer to 2015. This is a strong prediction with a 5 year security net.

Edit:

How much you want to bet this was Princeton's goal from the beginning. They knew they could get a massive scale of free advertising, if they attacked one of the largest known social organizations. I'd almost be willing to bet the numbers rise again next year because of this.

Guest said:

I can't prove it but I think Princeton's claims have higher odds or realization than Facebook's claims. Princeton, if they had to, can force the issue by building a superior compettitor to FB.

Mike Steele Mike Steele said:

I bet most of you won't like and share this, you know who you are.

dms96960 said:

Princeton, OTOH, has a reputation gleaned over 100s of years, and, IMHO, it is childish for Facebook "scientists" to claim that Princeton will have no students by 2021.

Apparently, senses of humor have been lost during these posts.

Guest said:

I think this is very much true. Basing on the fact that Myspace came and it was throttled by facebook. We all know that its more convenient n quick to use Whatsapp, and the likes. So don't be surprised when facebook is replaced in the near future.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

How's this for a prediction: Princeton will still be going strong long after Facebook has become extinct.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

^^ That would also be my prediction.

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