Yahoo reports that a study “by two researchers in Princeton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, applies the same model used in the study of disease to extrapolate future adoption and abandonment of social networks.”
Because, you know, a social network is like a disease. We’ll call the disease Baby-Photo-Sharing-Addiction.
The study’s conclusion: Facebook will lose 80% of its users by 2017, for reasons apparently including that the graph of people searching for the term “Facebook” on Google is declining. Yes, this is a real study, in the news.
3 Questions That Arise From This Story
1. Since this is a model based on disease, the effects of the zombie apocalypse were included, right? This seems to be a better explanation as to why Facebook would lose hundreds of millions of users in 3 years than whatever mechanical or aerospace engineers have to say about disease.
2. So using “Google Trends” graphs to indicate how many people are searching for the term “Facebook” is correlated to whether Facebook is becoming more or less popular? Does that mean if we do 1,000 Google Searches for “Dumb Papers About Facebook From Princeton” that Facebook will have more users? And if fewer people search on Google for “Facebook” it can’t possibly be because they know what Facebook is from watching the Social Network? So many questions remain unanswered in this mechanical-and-aerospace-engineering-disease-analogy study!
3. Is this why Facebook was invented at Harvard and not Princeton? We are kind of wondering how this “study” became “news” in the first place. Not because it used Google Trends to support its theory, but because it raised a bigger question: “Where is a reference to Wikipedia? What kind of University is Princeton, anyway?”