Social Media

The global economic impact of Facebook in numbers [Report]

Facebook has more than a billion users and generated an estimated $12 billion in revenue last year. But the company says its economic impact is far greater.

The report [embedded below] commissioned by Facebook concludes that the social network was responsible for $227 billion in global economic impact, and 4.5 million jobs, in the year ended October 2014, roughly equal to the gross domestic product of Portugal. The report was prepared by the consulting firm Deloitte.

More specifically, Deloitte’s report looks at how Facebook stimulates economic impact by providing 1) tools for marketers; 2) a platform for app developers; and 3) demand for connectivity, meaning data usage and mobile devices. The study is an update to Deloitte’s 2011 European report on the subject and now includes an analysis of other regions and countries.

INFOGRAPHIC Facebook’s Impact on the Global Economy

The study estimate that through the channels of marketers, app developers and providers of connectivity, Facebook enabled $227bn of economic impact and 4.5m jobs globally in 2014. These effects accrue to third parties that operate in Facebook’s ecosystem, and exclude the operations of the company itself.

Key findings in the report include:

Examined how the social network stimulates global economic impact by:

  • Providing tools for marketers.
  • Providing a platform for application developers.
  • Creating demand for connectivity to the Internet.

When examining Facebook’s impact by region, Deloitte found that:

  • The U.S., at $100 billion, is expected to capture the largest share of economic impact.
  • High rates of engagement enabled $21 billion of economic impact in Central America and South America.
  • The thriving app economy in Europe, the Middle East and Africa has generated $13 billion in economic impact for the region.
  • Facebook contributed $13 billion in economic impact in the Asia-Pacific region due to demand for Facebook-motivated data usage and device purchases.

And in a more detailed look at how Facebook facilitates economic activity. Deloitte said the social network:

  • Allows new and traditional businesses worldwide to reach potential customers locally, nationally and globally.
  • Reduces barriers to marketing by allowing businesses of all sizes to raise awareness of their brands and find the most likely people to be interested in their products and services.
  • Supports entrepreneurship by giving business a way to promote their activities.
  • Enables new ecosystems that stimulate the economy and generate jobs, such as the app economy.
  • Increases demand for mobile devices and Internet services that carry positive spill-overs to other parts of the economy.

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Mark Zuckerberg also highlighted in his Facebook status :

Our mission at Facebook is to connect the world. We often think about this as connecting you with your friends and family — those who matter to you most. But this also means helping people connect with businesses, governments and other organizations in their lives as well.

Deloitte global managing director of technology, media and telecommunications Jolyon Barker added:

Our study finds that Facebook enables significant global economic activity by helping to unlock new opportunities through connecting people and businesses, lowering barriers to marketing and stimulating innovation.

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