If a glut of recent studies are to be believed, its days are definitely numbered. Various reports suggest it is haemorrhaging users, that teenagers find it boring – one survey even comparing it to an infectious disease.
Such surveys, usually accompanied by a picture of boss Mark Zuckerberg looking sad, are picked up widely by the press and equally vigorously pulled apart by Facebook.
So when researchers at Princeton used Google search data to predict Facebook would lose 80% of its users within three years, the social network hit back.
Its in-house data scientists used the same methodology to predict the university would have no students by 2021 and the world would run out of air by 2060.
“As data scientists we wanted to give a fun reminder that not all research is created equal – and some methods of analysis lead to pretty crazy conclusions,” they said.
The Princeton report’s comparison of Facebook to an infectious disease missed the mark, thinks Nate Elliott, analyst with Forrester Research.
“One of Facebook’s greatest strengths is its practice of regularly adding new features and functionality to its site; this both ensures it infects new users and also makes sure existing users don’t become immune to its charms,” he said in his blog.
He also pointed out net measurement firm Comscore’s data that showed that 89% of US 18- to 24-year-olds used Facebook in November 2013.
“Facebook claims far more young users than any other social network – indeed, probably more than any other media property on Earth,”