Enjoy your status postings now because it may be your last one (well your last one of thousands.) According to a new study out of Princeton University, Facebook, the most popular social network in the world currently, is going to see a rapid decline by 2017.
Academics at Princeton University used theories on the spread of disease combined with Google Trends data on searches for Facebook to predict the demise of the world’s largest social network. They found that Google searches for Facebook saw its peak in 2012. “Facebook has already reached the peak of its popularity and has entered a decline phase,” they said. “The future suggests that Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years, losing 80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.” The researches said they saw similar data right before MySpace fell out of favor with the world.
So why are we going to see such a fast fall for what is currently the world’s most popular social network? Basically losing interest in something spreads as fast as that horrible disease in that movie “Contagion”. That is very true. But we have some other theories as to this predicted decline.
It makes changes constantly
Sometimes it seems like every other day we are getting an update about how our profiles work different or how something now functions on the network. Clearly, Facebook is doing this to keep up with its competitors like Twitter and Google+, as Jennifer Lawrence’s character said in American Hustle, “I don’t like change” and neither do Facebook users.
The youth factor
When Facebook first came on the scene, that was pretty much it in terms of social networks. But (and boy do I sound old right now) for today’s youth, Facebook is just one of the many networks to share with everyone that you love “One Direction.”
“There’s a change in the social media landscape,” Pheed CEO O.D. Kobo told TIME. “No young people want to open up their timeline and read a novel. It’s not quick enough. The younger demographic today is much more [into] multimedia.”
In other words, SnapChat rules all.
It wasn’t built for Mobile
It is as simple as that. Unlike SnapChat and Instagram (which Facebook acquired), Facebook was made for PCs. It has a mobile app, but it is not used the same way that native apps like Insta and SnapChat are.
Users are leaving so advertisers are leaving
According to The Guardian as of spring 2013, Facebook had lost 10 million US users in the past year. Other studies suggest that its expansion in the US, UK and other major European countries has peaked.
“The problem is that, in the US and UK, most people who want to sign up for Facebook have already done it,” said new media specialist Ian Maude at Enders Analysis. “There is a boredom factor where people like to try something new. Is Facebook going to go the way of Myspace? The risk is relatively small, but that is not to say it isn’t there.”
Experts say that Facebook was too slow to react to changes in a field it was once a pioneer in (specifically mobile) and that is the real reason we are ultimately going to see it fall.