Although the U.S. employment and jobs economic outlook is bleak, a new study released today reports that Facebook is creating a thriving economy around its social network. According to new research from University of Maryland, the Facebook App Economy has added at least 182,000 new jobs and contributed more than $12.19 billion in wages and benefits to the U.S. economy this year. Using more aggressive estimates, the Facebook App Economy created a total of 235,644 jobs, adding a value of $15.71 billion to the U.S. economy in 2011.
The study evaluated jobs created in the app industry (direct employment), jobs created in other sectors of the economy from Facebook’s ecosystem (indirect employment), and the economic value of those jobs, including salary and benefits.
As we’ve written in the past, 2.5 million websites have integrated with Facebook, and Facebook users install 20 million apps every day. Every month, more than 250 million people engage with Facebook on external websites. Especially with the viral growth of gaming apps, as well as the use of the ‘Like’ button used by brands, more and more developers are building off the Facebook platform to tap into the network’s 700 million-plus userbase.
Clearly, the Facebook App Economy is huge.
Internally, Facebook has been known as a job engine of sorts, employing a staff of over 2,000 and growing rapidly. Of course, it would be interesting to see the economies of Google’s APIs and Twitter’s ecosystem evaluated in similar terms for comparison.
Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 1 billion monthly active users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks. The original...