To paraphrase the legendary American comic writer, mark Twain, the news of Facebook’s death is greatly exaggerated. Usually when academic powerhouses like Princeton, Harvard and Yale release academic papers, the world stops and listens. That’s due to the fact that these institutions are highly credible and very well-respected in all circles. Be that as it may, they do come up with certain papers that make you scratch your head. Case in point, using epidemiological modeling for the rise and fall of social networks, two individuals from Princeton, Joshua Spechler and John Cannarella, have released a paper saying that using epidemiological methods, Facebook will pretty much be dead by 2017. They use this using an infection prediction and infection recovery system. Usually epidemiological models are used for the spread of diseases and since many people are saying that Facebook’s recruitment works in along the same model that epidemiological models apply to Facebook as well. So using those models, Facebook will be dead in around three years. The problem with this, of course, is that there is a gulf of a difference between how diseases spread and how social networks proliferate. Moreover, there are outside factors like advertising and media sharing that prolong social network’s lives and also expand their influence.
This paper is good for a laugh. It appears that Facebook is looking at it from that perspective, as well, because it has rolled out its very funny comeback that says Princeton, based on epidemiological models, will be dead in a very short future as well Touche.