People are slowly building up an immunity to Facebook and researchers predict it will lose 80 percent of its peak user base by 2017.
Researchers at Princeton University compared the growth of the social media site to the spread of disease. They believe Facebook will die out, much like the bubonic plague.
In their paper “Epidemiological Modelling of Online Social Network Dynamics,” John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler, of Princeton's mechanical and aerospace engineering department, studied how many times Facebook is typed into Google search. According to Google Trends, the term peaked in December 2012, but has begun to plummet in popularity.
"Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models," the authors claim. "Ideas are spread through communicative contact between different people who share ideas with each other. Idea manifesters ultimately lose interest with the idea and no longer manifest the idea, which can be thought of as the gain of 'immunity' to the idea."
However, people accessing Facebook through apps on their smartphones could be responsible for the fewer Google searches.
Facebook CFO David Ebersman admitted there was a drop in daily users over the last three months. "We did see a decrease in daily users, specifically among younger teens,” Ebersman said.
Investors are not abandoning the $142 billion company just yet.