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Facebook to suffer the same fate as the bubonic plague?

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A new study, not peer-reviewed, titled Epidemiological Modeling of Online Social Network Dynamics predicts that Facebook will suffer the same fate as MySpace and Friendster based on contagious disease models. Essentially, the models predict quick proliferation through the population, like was seen with all these social networks, followed by a crash:

The same principle is then applied, in reverse, to the “recovery” phase: Someone who is using the social network will “recover” (stop using the network) after exposure to a certain number of other non-users, including people who stopped using the network or never joined in the first place.

So, the question is posed: do social networks actually resemble contagious diseases or are they fundamentally different? While this study is a fun read it is important to understand the differences between human communications and actual contagious diseases.

The telephone grew in popularity using the “network effect” but it didn’t see a crash because it continued to have utility for its users. As long as Facebook has utility, it probably won’t be “cured” like the plague. Maybe it’s more like the zombie apocalypse.

Source: Media Post

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