Facebook has claimed its real world economic impact equates to $227bn and 4.5m jobs in 2014 after commissioning the number crunchers at Deloitte to estimatea figure – despite generating just $12bn in revenue.
These figures were obtained by totting up economic activity ‘enabled’ by the platform through means such as ‘unlocking opportunities’, ‘connecting people and businesses’, ‘lowering barriers to marketing’ and ‘stimulating innovation’ – though they exclude the direct operations of Facebook itself.
Unsurprisingly the US was the chief beneficiary of this economic clout, with $100bn of economic activity enabled, with equivalent figures for EMEA, Central and South America and APAC coming in at $13bn, $21bn and $13bn.
A key facet of this work was an assessment of the marketing impact of Facebook Pages and targeted advertising by looking at business usage of the network. This found that the UK was the third biggest beneficiary of marketing globally with an economic impact of $6.6bn and 89,000 jobs hinging on the sector.
This compared to equivalent figures of $77.6bn and 816,000 jobs for the US and $8.4bn and 189,000 jobs for Brazil – ranked first and second respectively.
Economists have disputed the findings as however, pointing out that Facebook has itself benefitted from the rise of internet service – not vice versa.