According to an article on CNN this AM, a company called Entrustet has been calculating some interesting Facebook statistics. They claim that if you compare the U.S. death rate to the number of users are on Facebook (which includes 500 million active accounts), 480,000 Facebook users will die this year. They also project that similar application shows that 1.78 million users worldwide will die this year.
But these numbers might be skewed. CNN goes on to report some inaccuracies in the data. 1) in certain age brackets, users are likely to have multiple profiles, 2) some profiles are already inactive, but users or family members have not deleted the account, 3) 1/10 profiles are "non-human"
So what is Facebook doing to assist in accurate account management?
- Memorializing: When a user dies in real life, control of the profile is passed on to the family, who can maintain or delete the account
- 30 day log out: Accounts are considered "inactive" after 30 days of non-activity
- Organizations and business: official accounts are not considered "users"
1.78 million Facebook users may die in 2011. CNN. January 19, 2011. http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/social.media/01/19/facebook.users.may.die.fc/index.html