Have you noticed a lag in Facebook activity lately? Princeton University researchers have noticed the same thing.
Those researchers took it one step further too. The researchers have discovered that Facebook will loose approximately 80% of its users by 2017 - that's three years from now.
What's happening? Why are people jumping ship? Is Facebook really going under? Let's take a closer look at the study findings.
Inside the Research
The Princeton University team mentioned above compared the decline in Facebook users to infectious diseases. Yeah, that might seem like a bit of a stretch, but it is an interesting comparison all the same. The team compared the growth curve of diseases like The Plague to Facebook. What they discovered is that Facebook simply cannot last.
The team has also discovered that people are not searching for Facebook using Google as much as they once did via desktop searches, but (as the study points out) this could be due to mobile searches. Most people now use mobile phones to connect with social networks.
It All Makes Sense
As a society, we are too connected. The trend now is to move back to a slower pace, find things that once matter most (like local and slow food), and move away from things that are driving us further apart. It's also been found that Facebook isn't good for you. Comparing yourself to all those other people you once knew through the social network is downright depressing.
It's interesting to follow companies that provide news updates (like this one), but completely void of any real purpose to follow people that only drag you down. It's inevitable that Facebook will soon die out, people are getting tired of disclosing every last detail to the world. So, what are you to do if you use social networking as a way of spreading word about your business?
Narrow Down the Networks
It's a large misconception that Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are the only social networks worth looking into. Branch out and find the networks that the clients you are targeting are using. Don't automatically assume that getting ten thousand Facebook fans is the way to go - it might not be. Facebook might be a complete waste of your company time if most of your market is using a site like Quora. See what I mean?
So even though Facebook might not be around in six years, that's not as dire as it seems. We have other social networks, and we also have things like phones and - gasp! - even face-to-face meetings. It's also worth taking a look at Google Plus, which this writer finds much more interesting than Facebook to begin with.
What's your take on this news? Are you worried that Facebook might be gone soon? Do you think that this study is accurate, or are you a Facebook super fan? I'd love to hear your take on this one - and so would the rest of this Google group - so please weigh in!