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Facebook Mocks 'Infection' Study, Predicts Princeton's Demise 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-are-more-of-it dept.
Okian Warrior writes "In a followup to the earlier story about Princeton researchers predicting the end of Facebook by 2017, Facebook has struck back with a post using similar statistical techniques to predict that Princeton itself may be facing irreversible decline. By using similar methods ('likes', mentions in scholarly papers, Google searches) Facebook has created graphs that indicate Princeton is losing ground compared with its rivals and may have no students at all by 2021."
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Facebook Mocks 'Infection' Study, Predicts Princeton's Demise

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  • by rodrigoandrade (713371) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:09AM (#46055231)
    Offers good value for the time and money you spend there.
  • This just in (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mdk754 (3014249) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:11AM (#46055243) Homepage
    You can make numbers look however you like in a study, who knew?
  • by MightyYar (622222) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:25AM (#46055335)

    The kids that go to Princeton would probably do just fine in life no matter where they go.

  • That was quick... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by toxickitty (1758282) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:31AM (#46055365)
    Funny how quick they replied to this study, feeling a bit nervous facebook?
  • Brilliant Response (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thoth (7907) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:31AM (#46055369) Journal

    This is a brilliant way to respond to the Princeton study - the correct way - rather than issue a press release denouncing it, or whine about it some other way.

    Instead, use the study's own methodology against them to show other ridiculous conclusions. What are the academics at Princeton going to do, say "oh wait the original methods are bullshit". Anything they say against just weakens their original paper/study.

  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:36AM (#46055385)
    While I can certainly see Facebook fading away, the problem with the Princeton study is that an essential assumption was that since Facebook is the successor to Myspace the data regarding Myspace's rise and fall can be extrapolated to Facebook (using the resemblance of Myspace's rise and fall to certain other phenomena). The problem with this assumption is that Myspace's fall was a result of Facebook existing as its successor. Currently there is no "successor" to Facebook which fills the same niche as Facebook, Myspace, and Friendster filled.
    I am not arguing that Facebook will not fall in the same way that Myspace did. I am just arguing that we do not have the data to make the case. Accurately predicting the fall of Facebook is a matter of "art", not of science and most of those doing so are expressing an opinion based on a WAG (and perhaps on what they hope will happen). Myspace and Friendster were fads. Facebook started as a fad, Myspace and Friendster faded away when they lost their novelty and were replaced by the next fad. However, Facebook has survived past the fad stage. I will repeat that just because Facebook has survived past the fad stage that does not mean that it will last.
  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:39AM (#46055401)

    The difference is that Princeton hasn't seen major declines (in the millions) of its primary demographic group. FB is funded both directly and indirectly by advertising/marketers. If the demographic for FB shifts elsewhere, so will the revenue stream. Princeton's funding is more diverse coming from tuition/fees, grants and contributions/bequests. Unless there is a scandal, it is unlikely that those sources will change.

    In addition, the competition of universities is pretty fixed. It is extremely expensive to start a new one (and get accredited). FB, on the other hand, well, it wasn't too long ago that Myspace was the king of the hill and FB was the challenger.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:42AM (#46055433)

    This is a brilliant way to respond to the Princeton study - the correct way - rather than issue a press release denouncing it, or whine about it some other way.

    Instead, use the study's own methodology against them to show other ridiculous conclusions. What are the academics at Princeton going to do, say "oh wait the original methods are bullshit". Anything they say against just weakens their original paper/study.

    Maybe if Zuckerberg had finished his studies at Harvard, he would realize that an internet company and a university have two totally different business models and the analysis methods for one do not translate to the other.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday January 24, 2014 @09:47AM (#46055471)

    Funny how quick they replied to this study, feeling a bit nervous facebook?

    Probably less nervous about Princeton's analysis than Wallstreet's, which shows the same thing. It's hard for any business to lose 20% of it's main demographic. When your main revenue stream is online ads and young people are the primary target of those ads, and studies show that once they leave, they are unlikely to return, it doesn't speak well for the future.

    Does that mean FB will go out of business? That's up to them. Tech companies have to keep re-inventing themselves to stay relevant.

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:04AM (#46055625)

    True. Which doesn't mean that ones used in both "studies" are valid for Facebook and invalid for Princeton. They might as well invalid for both. Or, which would be even more funny, applicable to universities, but not to internet portals.

    That might be true, but FB didn't attempt to show the study was invalid. Instead they tried to discredit it with a straw man argument.

  • by kilfarsnar (561956) on Friday January 24, 2014 @10:52AM (#46056039)

    I worked with a Princeton grad. He said the valedictorian speech was in Greek, but since no one at Princeton knows Greek anymore the student programs had it translated complete with notations as to where to clap and laugh at jokes. For this his dad paid Ivy league tuition. It aptly shows what said Ivy League education actually is, an overpriced sham.

    BTW, I am an A&M grad who was his boss and flogged him at chess.

    You don't go to an Ivy League school for the education. You go for the contacts, networking and prestige. It's not about what you learn at Princeton, but whom you meet.

  • Re:Atleast.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by McGruber (1417641) on Friday January 24, 2014 @11:25AM (#46056457)
    In the long run we are all dead. - John Maynard Keynes

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

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