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The dead could outnumber the living on Facebook by 2070, and the social media site could be a virtual crypt by the end of the century.
Depending on the rate of the site's growth, the number of dead Facebook users could range from 1.4 billion to 4.9 billion by 2100, according to new research. Many of these zombie profiles will come from India, due to the country's large population, and the United States, because of its prevalence of Facebook use.
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Facebook is the largest social media network in the world. As of March 2019, the company claimed 2.38 billion users who had logged in at least once in the past month (1.56 billion had logged in daily). Öhman and his co-author David Watson, also of the Oxford Internet Institute, used Facebook data from the end of 2018, which put the number of monthly active users at 1.43 billion. This data included nationality and self-reported user ages.
Those numbers assume no new user growth after 2018, which is unrealistic; the company already claims that more have signed on. To pinpoint the other extreme, the researchers assumed a scenario in which Facebook grows by 13 percent each year until everyone in the world is on the site. More living users mean, eventually, more dead users. Under those assumptions, Facebook is littered with the virtual gravestones of 4.9 billion people by 2100. In that scenario,...
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