New study finds Facebook games might do the economy good

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The Facebook Economy
The success of Facebook gaming goes beyond Facebook. Based on an economic impact study released today (courtesy of the University of Maryland), Facebook games, applications, and social plugins (e.g. "Like" buttons, fan pages, Facebook Connect, etc.) are responsible for adding somewhere from 182,744 to 235,644 full-time jobs, and $12.19 billion to $15.71 billion into the US economy.

Seeing that the Facebook platform has only been around since May 2007, the growth has been tremendous. The study cites Zynga as an example as the most successful venture on the Facebook platform, primarily thanks to hits like FarmVille, Mafia Wars, and Words With Friends. Zynga itself has 2,000 employees with the company valued at $15 to $20 billion. Whereas, Playfish was bought by EA for $300 million, and Playdom was bought by Disney for $763.2 million.

The study, created by professors of the Center for Digital Innovation, Technology, and Strategy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, moves on from counting the numbers of direct employment to uncovering jobs indirectly created by Facebook apps. It then estimates the economic value of all those jobs, which means analyzing salaries and benefits. Still skeptical? They're calling it the "Facebook App Economy" and you can read all about it here.

[Image Credit: Visual Economics]

[Via SFGate]

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