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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Telling Numbers: Dead will outnumber living on Facebook in 50 years, analysis finds; highest count in India

If Facebook continues to expand at current rates, however, the number of deceased users could reach as high as 4.9 billion before the end of the century.

By: Explained Desk | Published: April 29, 2019 12:39:06 am
Facebook, privacy, data privacy, data security, Facebook data scandal, Social networking, Mark Zuckerberg, Cybersecurity, Internet, Social media The analysis predicts that based on 2018 user levels, at least 1.4 billion members will die before 2100. (Image: AP)

New analysis has predicted that the dead may outnumber the living on Facebook within 50 years. India will account for the highest number of dead profiles, around 15% of the world totals, according to the analysis, done by academics from the Oxford Internet Institute (OII).

The analysis predicts that based on 2018 user levels, at least 1.4 billion members will die before 2100. In this scenario, the dead could outnumber the living by 2070. If Facebook continues to expand at current rates, however, the number of deceased users could reach as high as 4.9 billion before the end of the century.

The analysis sets up two potential extreme scenarios, arguing the future trend will fall somewhere in between:
* The first scenario assumes that no new users join as of 2018. Under these conditions, Asia’s share of dead users increases rapidly to account for nearly 44% of the total by the end of the century. Nearly half of those profiles come from India and Indonesia, which together account for just under 279 million Facebook mortalities by 2100.

* The second scenario assumes that Facebook continues to grow by its current rate of 13% globally, every year, until each market reaches saturation. Under these conditions, Africa will make up a growing share of dead users. Nigeria, in particular, becomes a major hub in this scenario, accounting for over 6% of the total. Western users will account for only a minority of users, with only the US making the top 10.

The study is published in the journal Big Data & Society. (Source: University of Oxford & PTI)

This Word Means: Shoebox satellite

Engineers from a Chinese start-up called LinkSpace tested a reusable rocket last week, Reuters reported. The rocket hovered 40 m above the ground before descending back to its launch pad after 30 seconds. The Reuters report said LinkSpace sees these short hops as the first steps towards a new business model — sending tiny, inexpensive satellites into orbit These are called shoebox satellites, because of their size — they weigh less than 10 kg — and are expected to see an explosion in demand in the next few years. Apart from the Chinese, American scientists have been developing such satellites. One of these, called RainCube (Radar in a CubeSat), sponsored by NASA, was launched into low-Earth orbit from the International Space Station in July 2018. It is an experiment for weather forecast using very small instruments to capture and send back images. The small satellite is a prototype for a possible fleet of RainCubes that could one day help monitor severe storms, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Library says on its website.

The Reuters report said US company Rocket Lab has already put 25 such satellites in orbit, while none from China has been sent up yet. The expected demand is for services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to universities conducting experiments. LinkSpace hopes to charge just 30 million yuan ($4.48 million) per launch, Reuters reported, comparing that with the $25 million-$30 million needed for a launch on a Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems Pegasus, a commonly used small rocket.

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