Facebook 'App Economy' Creates 182,000 U.S. Jobs

Study says social media platforms have contributed between $12.19 billion and $15.71 billion in wages and benefits to the U.S. economy this year.

The ecosystem of applications built for Facebook has created at least 182,000 jobs and contributes billions of dollars in wages and benefits to the U.S. economy, according to a study published on Sept. 19. The study by the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business said using "more aggressive estimates" the Facebook "App Economy" has created a total of 235,644 jobs.

It has contributed between $12.19 billion and $15.71 billion in wages and benefits to the U.S. economy this year, the study said.

"Our findings confirm that social media platforms have created a thriving new industry," said Il-Horn Hann, co-director of Smith's Center for Digital Innovation, Technology, and Strategy.

"As Facebook and other platforms grow, we will continue to see job growth and the ripple effects of these advances in the U..S economy," Hann said.

The Palo Alto, Cali.-based Facebook has more than 750 million members around the world and tens of thousands of applications have been developed by third parties to run on top of the social network.

Facebook users install 20 million applications a day, the study said.

It said more than 53,000 new jobs have been created in software companies that make applications for the Facebook platform.

"The jobs created in the app economy stimulate the creation of additional jobs in other sectors of the U.S. economy," the study said. "First, jobs are created at businesses that supply app developers. Second, jobs are created as a result of household spending based on the income earned by employees at both app developers and businesses supplying app developers."

The study's authors noted that Zynga, the maker of popular games for Facebook such as "Mafia Wars" and "Farmville," has over 2,000 employees and an estimated value of $15 billion to $20 billion.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011

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