A new report indicates the social media site is waning in popularity and likely hit its peak in December of 2012. The report suggests Facebook will undergo a rapid decline over the next few years, losing 80 percent of its user base between 2015 and 2017.
According to Sky News, academics at Princeton University used theories on how diseases spread combined with Google Trends data to predict when Facebook would cease to be a major social media force. As part of the study, researchers looked at the number of Google searches for Facebook and found they peaked in 2012. Sky News reports a similar search spike was observed for MySpace before it hit its peak and went into what the media outlet described as its "terminal decline."
The researchers compared users' decisions to leave Facebook to the spread of disease.
"Eventually, users begin to leave and recovery spreads infectiously as users begin to lose interest in the social network," the report stated.
The findings have not been peer-reviewed and some critics question the results of the study, particularly since the use of the Facebook mobile app makes it possible to access Facebook without going through a browser.
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