Randall Munroe, the cartoonist, claims,
“Either the 2060s or the 2130s.”
The number of alive people who are currently using this online social platform Facebook is greater than the ones who have passed away. There is one simple reason behind this, Facebook is relatively young and is usually used by younger people. Let us get some help from current figures to find out the answer.
Since the creation of the internet, approximately 10-20-million people have died. I mean more people have died in general, the ones that had Facebook Profiles are under discussion here. The estimates were based on the rate of growth of the site and the age of their clients over time.
There is a fair amount of users from all ages of life. The younger people tend to live longer than the people who have seen sixty or seventy springs in their lives. Hence, young people who have died make a significant portion of Facebook profiles, only because so many of them use Facebook.
Up till 2013, the number of Facebook users who have died in the US is around 290,000, and several million in the entire world. This rate of death will be twice in seven years time, and it will double once again in seven years ahead of that. Say the Facebook cancels its registration today, the rate of deaths each year will keep on increasing for decades. Meanwhile, the college generation of 2000s to 2020s will grow old. How do we decide? One way to do that is to find out whether new living clients will be allowed by Facebook to create a profile or not. If yes, how young will these clients be?
As far as the living clients who are creating new profiles on Facebook are concerned, it is very hard to say anything due to lack of exposure time to social media websites. We haven’t been able to observe the rise and fall of the social networks. So how should we predict how long the Facebook will survive? Assuming the general pattern of the outbreak of sites that decay over time, say Facebook decays too.
Let us assume that Facebook loses its market share in the latter part of the decade and could not recover. This graph will make it easier to understand.
Let’s assume that unlike other outbreak websites, Facebook doesn’t decay. Instead, it becomes a fundamental entity where other things are built on, and it works in a symbiont relationship to it. In such a case where Facebook continues to flourish in the future, the crossover will fall in mid-2100.
This is highly unlikely as every innovation and technology grows old someday. The cutting-edge technologies we have today stand on a cemetery of technologies that were thought to be immortal a decade ago. Hence, it would be somewhere in the middle where we will find the fate of Facebook.
Our Account’s Fate
Facebook can keep our data for eternity. However, since the overall infrastructure budget contains more dead people at this point than alive ones, I am assuming they won’t let us go. If next-of-kin can convert the profile of the dead person into a memorial page, would you do it? By the way, you can do it now.
The question that arises is that should such pages allow commenting? What measures can one take against trolling and vandalism? Which friends should be allowed to interact with such pages? These are some of the questions that are still confusing and unanswered by Mark Zuckerberg.