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back to article Facebook will LOSE 80% of its users by 2017 – epidemiological study

The internet has seized with glee on a Princeton research paper that suggests Facebook will be a virtually abandoned, tumbleweed-riddled corner of the web by 2017, when the social network's "outbreak" will have run its course. Princeton PhD students Joshua Spechler and Johan Cannarella used epidemiological modelling, …

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Who wants a share, now?

Although the means of arriving at the conclusion that Facebook is about to become TitsUp has so many holes in its logic that it's hard to see the connections for all the empty assumptions between them. However if there is any substance to this, then it does look like the timing of the IPO was less than a coincidence.

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Rob
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Re: Who wants a share, now?

What you mean someone invented the cure before they released the disease.

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Anonymous Coward

If

You want to see Facebook lose members by the score there is a simple solution. Insist of friending your children on there, they will soon look for alternatives.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: If

Yeah, they migrate to skype and oovoo and a couple of other platforms.

I've haven't seen so many teenagers' bedrooms since I was one.

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Coat

Re: If

Go on... I bet you can't remember a single thing from when you were one. What would a baby be doing in lots of teenager's bedrooms anyway?

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What wall paper did you like most?

When you were a bedroom.

Sorry about that, ladies and gentlemen.

Downvotes_R_here:

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...downward trend in search frequency from last year...

Um, are people still using google search to get to facebook? Surely most frequent users would have either a) made a bookmark by now, b) use the mobile app, or c) have it set to their homepage?

Edit: Or at least start typing it in the browser and have it take you strait there automatically?

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You would be surprised how many non-tech literate people go to facebook by double clicking the big blue "e" then typing facebook into the search box that opens on their homepage.

They do this because the first person who showed them the internet showed them this way and they never learnt any better.

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When one of the top search terms in Google is "Google" you know that people won't directly type in "Facebook".

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Happy

They do this because the first person who showed them the internet showed them this way and they never learnt any better.

I've shown several people what the address bar is, how to type into it, and how to bookmark the pages they go to all the time. I can only think of one of those people who has any bookmarks saved in their browser...

Google have only built the staggering number of data centres they have because every few months their search supercomputer becomes self aware and gets incredibly pissed off with all the idiots asking it where they can find facebook.com, goes beserk and decides to destroy the human race. So Google have to disconect it and build another datacentre and start the process all over again, because they don't know if the old one is safe to re-use.

Eventually this will end with the whole world being covered in useless Google datacentres which are too hideously dangerous to re-use, the death of the human race at the hands of our computer overlords, or users like my Mum being educated into using the address bar and bookmarks.

I'm betting on the end of the human race...

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Like they were my words

I had the same thoughts when I read the article. I was going to post it until I read your post

+1 for ya, and a pint! It’s almost Friday!

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They're all on mobile

More and more people are accessing Facebook via their mobile app, not via the desktop, so their accesses wouldn't show up in Google's logs.

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Childcatcher

Re: They're all on mobile

Yeah, I have a mobile with a specially dedicated "Facebook" key on it... WHY?

I don't even have a data plan.

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"You would be surprised how many non-tech literate people go to facebook by double clicking the big blue "e" then typing facebook into the search box that opens on their homepage."

For FaecesBook read any website they go to regularly, including their bank or credit card providers website.

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Given how many modern browsers just have a single bar or the address bar does searches as well it comes down to what is the default search engine set to. I guess it's easier to do the search than automatically assuming the user wants the '.com' added to the tail since it's unlikely they know the desired TLD and if they do they likely type it anyway.

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They do this because the first person who showed them the internet showed them this way and they never learnt any better

A 30-plus friend of mine only discovered copy-and-paste quite recently, she just used to type out what she wanted to quote. If you haven't been shown then you wouldn't know!

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Anonymous Coward

Seriously? that is something your taught in school surely? i'm 30+ and was taught that in school, even when my IT teacher was seriously incompetent...

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join the club...

"I've shown several people what the address bar is, how to type into it, and how to bookmark the pages they go to all the time. I can only think of one of those people who has any bookmarks saved in their browser..."

My wife insists on typing the name of a site she wants to visit into a Google search box. Every time I suggest that she could make an educated guess by typing straight into the Firefox address bar -- or simply typing the URL into the address bar if she knows it -- she has a massive meltdown.

I gave up long ago.

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@ I ain't Spartacus

Very nicely done, Sir! Have another pint.

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"For FaecesBook read any website they go to regularly, including their bank or credit card providers website."

As long as Google can be trusted to return good results this might be safer than risking a typo or using a shortcut that may no longer be valid, I suppose.

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'When one of the top search terms in Google is "Google" '

Doesn't that break the internet?

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Pint

Re: join the club...

@Mike Flugennock...are we married to the same woman?

My wife insists on typing the name of a site she wants to visit into a Google search box. Every time I suggest that she could make an educated guess by typing straight into the Firefox address bar -- or simply typing the URL into the address bar if she knows it -- she has a massive meltdown.

I gave up long ago.

I feel your pain. And the beer...because this has caused me to imbibe in many as a result.

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@ I ain't Spartacus

Well done sir! I am going to be re-using this comment frequently over the next few months - where should I be sending royalties - I'm assuming not Thrace from the moniker?

Another pint from me!

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Re: join the club...

It's because the cursor automatically defaults to the Google page search box instead of the URL. I blame the browsers for allowing it to steal focus at startup.

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Provided it is google and not mywebsearch, searchdial, conduit, or even Ask or some ISP butchered version of Google.

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Happy

I thought if you googled 'google' the internet broke

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Windows

Re: Like they were my words

Middle mouse button use in search.

I see many inteligent people who could use a Gantt chart go to google, type a term, click the first link, wait for it to load read a bit , click back, click the next link wait for it to load read a bit click back.

FFS! seriously.

Type a search term.

see more than one link that looks promising? middle mouse button that while you keep assesing the other links.

Repeat until you have a few loading then go to the first new tab opened, it will have loaded by now.

Read in smart business manner close if not required then the next etc.

We have multicore processors but use single thread browsing.

Show them, please show them.

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42 is the magic number

-> I ain't Spartacus

I would upvote you - but the counter is at 42! I can't bring myself to mess with this! :D

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@ I ain't Spartacus

So this is the back story behind Portal and GLaDOS! I thought that G initial was a bit familiar!

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Re: Seriously?

When I was in school, cut and paste meant getting out the scissors, cutting something out from a piece of paper (possibly a magazine) and then using the Elmer's to paste it onto another piece of paper or poster board.

Even when we did get computers, for the most part you still couldn't cut and paste, because everything was from a command prompt.

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Nah, that just gets you a GooglePlex

and a possible audit from the MPAA to ensure you are paying them proper royalties.

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Re: join the club...

In defence of various people's wives, letting Google find the page you want might well be a safer option than typing in what you think the URL might be - probably quite a high chance of landing on some impostor site, otherwise (pretty sure that "facebok.com" lands you somewhere unsavoury, for example).. Google's naggy little spell checker ("did you mean...?") has its uses!

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data collection

If there are using google search results to collect their data could it indicate instead that facebook is replacing google as a means for people to find things?

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Sounds about right

Facebook is really no different to Myspace, Yahoo, Compuserve etc they belong to group of non essential things that make up the Interwebs....

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Pint

Re: Sounds about right

unfortunately many people are more interested in distraction, irrelevance and entertainment than anything remotely educational, thought provoking (as in requiring one to think) or indeed essential.

Life can be a bitch especially if one sucks at living it. And regrettably many do. Hence the profusion of lolcatz, people falling over videos and Farcebook, which merely serve as an escape from their otherwise humdrum? pointless? existence.

All of this is relative of course, I am just a boring old fart that reads nothing but technical stuff on line in hopes of advancing and keeping my ageing mind active. I am sure that there are many Farcebook devotees that would see my life and lifestyle as pointless and indeed awfully boring. I shrug at this, I feel positive about my life and I feel that the very few friends, as in people I know, love and trust, love me too. And this makes me feel special and privileged. No doubt the Farcebook devotee feels the same way too, only difference being most of their friends are strangers. It's all relative.

I do feel sad that Farcebook has corrupted the word friend.

It don't need to be Friday for glass of wine. Beer icon 'cos there is no Shiraz icon.

Cheers to you all.

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Re: Sounds about right

I hate to break it to you, but that's genetic. Voracious reading won't help you if you have defective genes.

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Re: Sounds about right

> many people are more interested in distraction, irrelevance and entertainment

Obviously, otherwise we wouldn't be reading el reg.

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Big Brother

i doubt it

Many people i know are addicted to it so unless there is a discovery like penicillin, there is no cure.

I think they will probably shoot themselves in the foot eventually which will prompt a mass exodus.

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Anonymous Coward

Probably more a critical mass thing.

As the friends you follow stop posting updates and either move to the next big thing (no idea what it will be) or just go back to Real Life then so your need to check FB for updates every 60 seconds drops off and eventually you don't bother checking in or updating yourself, as either you've moved on or lost interest.

Which means the people following you stop checking so often and so on...

There is also the case for many of the "Yoof" that if your parents are on FB its no longer cool any longer and you'll move on...

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>There is also the case for many of the "Yoof" that if your parents are on FB its no longer cool any longer and you'll move on...

Which could - long term - be its saving.

Yoof are a good market, but they don't buy many white-goods/cars/mortgages.

At the moment magazine and TV ads are still the best way to reach these people, if Facebook reaches critical mass in the 30-40 somethings rather than Yoof and hipsters they could own a very profitable and much less fickle market.

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if Facebook reaches critical mass in the 30-40 somethings

If? They already have the critical mass don't they? I'm a 30-something, and so are all (most of) my friends. I've never seen an advert on there that I'd want to click though, so for all the privacy mongering they do, they haven't actually managed to use it properly yet. All I get is hot-young-singles-in-your-area ads, even though I told them I married already. Unless they took that as an indication that I'd like a hot young single in my area, who knows?

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Re: i doubt it

I don't know. I'm torn between agreeing with the cure being short attention spans or the thought of the Zuckster putting his foot in his mouth after he shoots it. Granted I'm tempted to pay to watch the latter.

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@monkeyfish: May I humbly suggest that gold badge members of el-reg are not the typical sheep audience that advertisers dream of.

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All I get is hot-young-singles-in-your-area

All I get is ads for feckunding old ladies.

How do they know how old we are?

I almost never use faecebook. And only then to make a commnet on a blog that isn't on faecebook as far as I know.

If they threw me the occasional young one, I wouldn't feel so bloody old! (I might even be tempted.)

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Re: All I get is hot-young-singles-in-your-area ads

FB haven't tweaked their filters correctly yet. I got the same ads and I'm a fair bit older than you. Haven't been on it in months. I was only really on it for the Zynga games and they became unplayable; or more precisely, they became more tedious work than real work.

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It's true but the time is probably off

I think given that the older generations take longer to come off platforms that the younger crowd who are always looking for novelty, the theory is probably right but I would say it will be post 2020 before it really drops off. I think you'll see a longer fade-off of users. Unless they do some great privacy cock-up and they've survived most of them so far.

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JDX
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Re: It's true but the time is probably off

a)You need something to move TO

b)Since when do we believe such theories?

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Re: It's true but the time is probably off

>a)You need something to move TO

Not a difficult market to enter, a kid in a Harvard dorm room could manage it.

>b)Since when do we believe such theories?

When do we believe epidemiological models of disease spread and network effects?

Since they correctly started predicting diseases, growth in traffic, best places to build a mall, etc etc

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