By Brendan Sasso - 09/19/11 10:00 AM EDT
Facebook applications have created more than 182,000 jobs and contributed more than $12.19 billion in wages and benefits to the U.S. economy, according to a study released Monday by the University of Maryland Business School.
The study was led by Il‐Horn Hann, an associate professor of information systems, and was part of a partnership between Facebook and the University of Maryland.
Zynga, maker of the popular Farmville game, now has more than 2,000 employees and an estimated value of $15‐$20 billion, according to the study.
The researchers note the boom in software jobs has also created additional jobs in the businesses that supply the app developers and from the increased household spending of the developers' employees.
The study estimated the Facebook "app economy" has indirectly created at least an additional 129,000 jobs.
Based on those figures and average salary estimates, the researchers concluded Facebook apps have added between $12.19 billion and $15.71 billion to the economy.
"Our findings confirm that social media platforms have created a thriving new industry," Hann said. "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."