Apparently “Ideas, like diseases, have been shown to spread infectiously between people before eventually dying out, and have been successfully described with epidemiological models,” claim the authors of a paper entitled ‘Epidemiological modelling of online social network dynamics.’ They applied the model of disease – SIR or suspected, infected recovered – to both MySpace and Facebook. The results are not really surprising – fads come and go. We watched AOL’s rise and fall and then MySpace’s. Why wouldn’t the same thing happen to Facbook?
Read about the research in the Guardian here.
These researchers predict that Facebook will have lost 80% of its users by 2017. That’s only 3 years from now. The company will have turned 13 years old. Thos of us who have used (still use) Facebook will have no doubt found another way to keep in touch with our friends. But what will all of the musicians, athletes and celebrities who are largely responsible for the incredible growth fans on Facebook do? David Beckham doesn’t even have a real website. He directs all of his fans to Facebook for news of him. There are nearly 33 million of these fans. What happens to them when they leave Facebook? Won’t David Beckham want to reach them, or his sponsors?
Over the last few years the real disease has been proliferated by Facebook, a kind of graft-vs-host disease – but in reverse. Fans were drawn to the Facebook pages of their favorite musicians, athletes and celebrities. In fact, they were encouraged to go because it was suddenly much easier communicating with them on Facebook than maintaining old-fashioned mailing lists and clip-boards to collect names and email addresses at gigs. But then the host, Facebook, attacked the very people who had contributed to its success – through graft (def: unscrupulous use of one’s position to derive profit or advantages). Two years ago Facebook changed the rules and started charging celebrities and those with large fan bases to reach their fans. They needed to earn money from other people’s fans in advance of their IPO.
Maybe Facebook is dying because this is what happens to all social networks and great ideas. But maybe it is dying because it is biting the very hands that feed it. In the last 2 years Facebook has reduced the number of fans who receive posts from the artist or athlete whose page they have liked to 10%. That means that 90% of the fans that like a page in order to get updates DO NOT receive them. Talent and celebrities have to pay Facebook to reach their own fans. It should really be the other way around.
Mobile fan clubs give talent direct access to their fans and make it possible to sell tickets, advertising, merchandise, music and much more Without access to fans branded personalities like musicians, actors, and athletes, will soon be losing face.