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Facebook on course to become a mausoleum as dead members outnumber the living

Facebook is headed for a demographic tipping point at which the number of dead members will outnumber those still living by the end of the century, according to one researcher.

Hachem Sadikki, a PhD student at the University of Massachussetts, calculated that the crossover would occur by the end of 2098 based on a model taking into account present growth rates and speed of expiry.

Built into this are a number of assumptions however, namely that Facebook’s future growth and the life expectance of members will flat line going forward.

Dead profile pages are a growing phenomenon on the social networking site with Facebook opting to ‘memorialise’ the deceased by preserving their profile content rather than simply pull the plug on them in the hope that friends and family will continue to visit in order to share memories and thoughts.

Whatever the true number the recent growth in memorialised pages has been high, with an estimated 10-20m Facebook users having died since 2013.

John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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