While the U.S. jobs picture may be bleak, the proliferation of Facebook and mobile technology applications has spawned an entirely new industry – dubbed the “App Economy” — that 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, according to new research from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.
Using more aggressive estimates, the Facebook App Economy created a total of 235,644 jobs, adding a value of $15.71 billion to the economy.
Professors at the Smith have for the first time been able to quantify that Facebook’s App Economy has created more than 53,000 new jobs in software companies who make applications for the Facebook Platform. Apps include everything from productivity tools to popular games like “Farmville” that users interact with on Facebook.
Il-Horn Hann and Siva Viswanathan, associate professors at Smith, measured the number of people employed to build, develop and consult on Facebook applications. They used data on apps provided by Facebook.
If you think about it, of course, the social media is creating and sustaining jobs for those who are knowledgeable in computer programming, mobile technology, engineering and software.
“Our findings confirm that social media platforms have created a thriving new industry,” said Hann. “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.”