by Facebook Public Policy Europe

Facebook’s users already know what the power of social means to them.

Whether it is finding old friends, keeping up with family, planning events or sharing special moments; the ability to connect is a precious thing.

And it is not just communication between friends that is changing. Citizens can now speak directly to their leaders, new political movements are born online, and a single voice can reach an audience of millions.

But there is something else going on too. Facebook is also having an economic effect.

Businesses are using the service to connect with their customers, to advertise more effectively and to build brand identity.

In Europe, thousands of people are employed just to make Facebook apps, and technology manufacturers are selling smartphones and tablets to Facebook users who want to connect wherever they go.

We always knew that this was worth a lot of money. However, there was no way to measure that value, until now.

International research firm Deloitte has carried out an extensive analysis of the “Facebook economy” across the EU27 countries.

Their findings include:

  • Facebook adds an estimated €15.3 billion value to the European economy
  • Facebook helps to support 232,000 jobs across Europe
  • Increased businesses participation through advertising, customer referrals and enhanced brand value is worth around €7.3bn
  • The Facebook App Economy is worth €1.9bn and supports around 29,000 jobs.

While Facebook is changing businesses in new and exciting ways, the methodologies used to measure its economic impact are well established.

Deloitte’s study examines four key areas:

  1. Narrow impact: Facebook employs staff across Europe. That means money spent on wages, buildings, equipment and with suppliers.
  2. Business participation: Companies are increasing their revenue and building their brands thanks to Facebook advertising, fan pages, ‘likes’ and by communicating directly with customers.
  3. Platform impacts: European businesses that build apps for Facebook employ thousands of people. Also, social events planned online mean money spent on venues, food, drink and other expenses.
  4. Technology sales impacts: For many people, Facebook is the deciding factor when considering a new smartphone or tablet computer. Accessing the site or app also drives consumption of mobile and fixed-line broadband.

The full breakdown of Facebook’s economic impact can be found in Deloitte’s report “Measuring Facebook’s economic impact in Europe”. The executive summary of the report is available on Deloitte’s website here.

The publication of these figures is just the beginning.

Facebook has an ongoing commitment to helping promote growth, jobs and skills across Europe.

Today we are announcing partnerships with a range of governments, educational establishments, non-profit organisations, employment agencies and skills providers.

Working together, we aim to help even more people find jobs, and encourage businesses to grow further.

Facebook is also offering €100 of free advertising to 50,000 small and medium enterprises in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Just as the power of social enhances our personal lives every single day, we believe it will continue to support our economies now and into the future.

Richard Allan

Director of Public Policy, Facebook EMEA

Original blog post