The U.S. social media giant, Facebook, published a report yesterday (20 January) saying that the social network generated €195 billion and created about 4.5 million jobs throughout the world in 2014. The report was conducted by analysts of Deloitte, who used economic analysis to gauge the impact of Facebook on other companies and businesses that use it as a marketing tool, to sell internet and mobile services, and as a platform for the “app-based economy”.
The report has also revealed that the European Union with its 28 Member States accounted for about 25 percent of the total global economic impact with €44 billion and approximately 780,000 jobs created last year. Within the EU, the UK benefitted the most from Facebook. The report claims that Facebook created about 150,000 jobs in the UK last year, which is approximately twice as many as in Germany (84,000 jobs), France (78,000), and Italy (70,000 jobs). Globally, the biggest beneficiary of the “Facebook” economy is the United States, which saw €98 billion generated and more than a million jobs created. Whereas Facebook is much more popular as a marketing platform in the U.S. compared to the EU, Europe is better at using the social media as an app tool.
The figures in the report are based on the data provided by Facebook itself, a disclaimer by Deloitte notes at the beginning. The report comes as a rebuttal to recent censure of the company’s tax and business practices. The social media company was amongst several multinational giants, which were affected by proposals by UK finance minister George Osborne in December last year, which intend to raise more than £1bn. Following criticism of the shortage of tax that technology firms such as Facebook, but also Amazon and Google, pay in the UK, Mr Osborne announced that a new 25 percent tax would be introduced that would aim at profits “generated by multinationals from economic activity here in the UK which they then artificially shift out of the country”.
In 2014, big technology companies were also criticized for avoiding competition rules, which prompted France and Germany to call on the European Commission to review competition legislation surrounding online companies with the aim to create “a more level playing field” and encourage European companies enter the market.