Facebook has responded to Princeton University research that predicts the collapse of the social network with some research of its own, and the company concludes Princeton too will be out of business by 2021.
This week, researchers from the university released a study that compared the rise of Facebook to a model that is used to study the spread of disease. As a benchmark for the study, the researchers compared Facebook to MySpace. The study was also based on Google search queries for Facebook -- not the number of active users.
All in all, the study was a bit bonkers.
The study concluded Facebook would lose 80% of its users by 2017. For that to happen, Facebook would lose a number of users equal to the population of the U.S. each year for three years.
Mocking the study, Facebook applied the same model to Princeton.
The company found a correlation between the number of students at Princeton and the university’s Google Trends index. Like Facebook, Princeton has also seen its search queries fall. Therefore, Facebook concludes that by 2018, enrollment at the school will be half of what it is today, and by 2021, Princeton will have no students at all.
“We don’t really think Princeton or the world’s air supply is going anywhere soon,” the company said in a blog. “We love Princeton [and air]. 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.”