Facebook could be set to lose up to 80% of its users within just three years according to new research.
Academics at Princeton University looking at a number of factors, including Google Trends data, compared Facebook to MySpace and found that the one billion user social network has already entered an irreversible state of decline.
The study found that the number of Google searches for Facebook peaked in December 2012, a similar spike to that observed as former social media giant MySpace reached its peak, and then fell into a rapid period of decline.
University researchers said: “Facebook has already reached the peak of its popularity and has entered a decline phase.
“The future suggests that Facebook will undergo a rapid decline in the coming years, losing 80% of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017.”
The decline of such networks has been likened to a disease, and that “users begin to leave and recovery spreads infectiously as users begin to lose interest in the social network”.
University College London's Professor, Daniel Miller said: “What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young person's decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mum sends you a friend request."