Facebook contributes £2.17bn to UK

Picture of a Facebook imageA study from consultancy group Deloitte has shown the economic impact of social media - and it's very positive. Facebook contributed £2.17bn to the UK's economy in 2011, supporting jobs and enabling a load of business to take place. So what's it actually done?
The report says the company has allowed a number of new business "ecosystems" to flourish, and it has also created environments in which other businesses can flourish. So you'd have to count those "Facebook vouchers" you can get in supermarkets, which enable you to buy a virtual sheep for a social game (in other words you buy 'nothing') - it all counts when it comes to creating jobs.

Positive impact
The impact shouldn't be underrated when there are tough economic conditions. Deloitte believes Facebook supported 35,200 jobs in the UK last year, building to 232,000 if you look at the whole of Europe. On a European scale the company enabled £10.69bn of economic activity.

In the UK, £1.14bn of the economic contribution was due to "business participation effects" - companies using FB pages to promote their brands and soforth. A further €468.38m was brought into the economy because of the Facebook platform - people wanting to make apps and soforth.

AOL Money asked Deloitte whether the same sort of impact could be felt from other social networks. The company made it clear - quite reasonably - that the study was funded by Facebook and so only focused on that organisation.

Ana Aguilar, Assistant Director at Deloitte's Economic Consulting, added that the importance of Facebook was primarily in its indirect effect: "The impact on business participation where Facebook enables other businesses to advertise, promote their brand, raise awareness and therefore generate new sales is by far the largest broad effect and is responsible for nearly half of the company's overall economic impact," she said. "Much of this effect is associated with the brand value created for organisations through the social links prevalent on Facebook and the new ways of engendering interest and loyalty that Facebook provides. In particular, small businesses benefit from such a developed Customer Relationship Management platform that is free at the point of use."
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