Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) may lose more than half of its users by 2017, according to researchers at Princeton University. The shocking and discouraging revelation from the researchers goes on to say that the world’s largest social networking site may be abandoned by 80% of its users by 2017, says a report from The Guardian.

facebook users

Researchers used disease model

Researches reached the conclusion after studying the growth curve of epidemics in comparison to the online social networks. They said that Facebook would meet the fate of the Bubonic plague. Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), which will celebrate its 10th anniversary on February 4th, has survived more than rivals Myspace and Bebo.

John Cannarella and Joshua Spechler, from the US University’s mechanical and aerospace engineering department, analyzed the number of times the word Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is typed into the Google search bar. The Google Trend chart shows that Facebook searches were at their height in December 2012, and since then declined considerably.

The research paper, titled “Epidemiological modeling of online social network dynamics”, says “Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models.” The researchers used SIR (susceptible, infected, recovered) model of disease, which creates the equation to track the extent and recovery of epidemics.

Myspace scenario applied to Facebook

In October, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stated that it has approximately 1.2 billion monthly active users (MAUS). The company will present the latest reports to the investors on its traffic numbers at the end of the month. Number of desktop logins on Facebook has declined, and the mobile traffic has increased.

Researchers created many equations on the lifespan of Myspace, and then applied them to Facebook. Social networking site Myspace was founded in 2003, and saw utmost success in 2007 with 300 million registered users before getting abandoned by 2011. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp bought Myspace for $590 million. Also, the social networking site entered into a deal with Google to sell its advertising space for $900 million, in 2006. It was, however, sold by News Corp later for as little as $35 million.

Investors, however, still put loads of confidence in Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) stock, which reached a record high this month, giving the company a value of $142 billion.