DA will never actually die, All of the people who joined here as a faddy thing will fade away and leave just those of us who care about the proper use of DA. The site was actually better when it had a smaller population.
I don't think it's necessarily dying. I do think people get bored and take (sometimes extended) breaks from it, and it makes it seem like the place is lagging if you often communicate with those people.
Art in general is dying. Well.. maybe it's just very ill. Not many really seem to care that much about it anymore, maybe in Europe and Japan they do, but everywhere else, nope (I'm talking in the mainstream society here, just generalising from my experiences, please correct me if I'm wrong, that would be a good thing!!). Facebook and every other form of "social" media only add to the flames, burning anything beautiful and unique. They're designed to sell advertising and catalogue what people are interested in ("Like this now!"), like some messed up sci-fi novel, only it's real life! They're big mechanical whales piloted by sharks in suits, swallowing anything and everything they can. I contend that the main negativity comes from the materialistic, egocentric, technologically dependent, ugly, turd-brained, over-conditioned, mentally and spiritually undernourished culture people are being brought up in and not learning to break free from it and think for themselves. This site is great and serves as a testament to all the great artists who exhibit there work and passion and love on here. In the words of Danny DeVito in "Twins", "Money talks, and bullshit walks." end rant
I don't think DA is dying because of facebook. Maybe tumblr and other art sites may more likely be the reason than facebook at least.
I feel also many of DA's older artist is pretty much gone for some reason?. Or at least not as active as they used to be. It's possibly getting more stupid people and less artists. It's hard talk to people now a days on this site, compared to it used to be. Because of people being either trolls or drama kids.
It could also be because people are having exams (again) at school atm. And xmax busyness.
The participation may be there. I think the more active and vocal members of the site are young people who are accustomed to using the tools offered by dA for expression and interaction as a social network. The focus tends to be popular trends, fads, angst and becoming popular.
I made a comment to an older artist who thanked me for a favorite that I had to scroll through pages and pages of manga and pokemon fan art just to find his work.
I don't think it is, because people can come, dump and go to another site, that's what I use this more for, looking at art and stuff and only use the forums a tiny bit. yes I use this site for photos and I use facebook for games, if da had these sort of games that facebook had then I would be on here more same with neopets having more pixel fun and games.
I can imagine that the golden days of dA has passed, but it still keeps its purpose for the ones who use it. I've had it for three or frour years, but I didn't start using it frequently until about a year ago. The reason I use dA is to upload my drawings and to be able to show them to people easily, rather than trying to become famous and earn money from it. I think people have different reasons for being on dA, and the different reasons affect how often they visit the site, and if nothing that anyone finds amusing happens here, the frequency of the visits is going to drop too.