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Social disease? Facebook pokes fun at Princeton study

A recent Princeton study which has said that Facebook could lose up to 80 percent of its users between
2015 and 2017 has caused quite a stir. The study which is available here, compared Facebook to a disease and theorised that people would soon ‘recover from it’.

Facebook today has come out and mocked the study by putting out its own parody study, which uses ‘robust scientific analysis’ to show that Princeton will lose 80 percent of its students by 2017.

The ‘study’ was put out by Mike Develin, Lada Adamic, and Sean Taylor, data scientists at Facebook. It say, “In keeping with the scientific principle “correlation equals causation,” our research unequivocally demonstrated that Princeton may be in danger of disappearing entirely.” The study then goes on to show how Princeton’s paper publications have been declining since 2009 and also that the university has been doing badly where Google trends is concerned. The actual Princeton study also relied on Google Trends data where the Facebook search query was concerned.

The parody study then adds, “Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018, and by 2021 it will have no students at all.”

It also goes on to ponder on as to why Google search queries for air have been declining and points out “While we are concerned for Princeton University, we are even more concerned about the fate of the planet — Google Trends for “air” have also been declining steadily, and our projections show that by the year 2060 there will be no air left.”

The Princeton study does sound a little alarmist, especially for a company that now has over a billion users, but Facebook’s witty response is actually funny and points out the critical flaw in the study, given that it’s relying so much on Google Trends data.

The Princeton study aside,  the reality is that Facebook does have some problems especially where teens are concerned. The site is facing increasing pressure from WhatsApp and Snapchat in developed countries, even though it continues to grow in Asia.

Facebook’s future and teens are concerned, the relationship is definitely going down as studies have shown that teens are taking to other social networks. A recent study in EU showed that where 16-and 18-year olds are concerned, Facebook is no longer cool for them, and that they have moved to Instagram (owned by Facebook so not all bad), Snapchat etc.

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