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How valuable is Facebook to its users?

How valuable is Facebook to its users?

How valuable is Facebook to its users?

Despite recent security and privacy issues, it seems that most people would need to be paid a lot of money to deactivate their Facebook account. So just what is the social media mega-site worth to you?

To measure how valuable Facebook is to its 2.27 billion monthly active users, researchers from Tufts University and Kenyon used a series of auctions in which people were paid to close their Facebook accounts for as little as one day or as long as one year. The researchers found that users would require an average of more than US$1,000 to deactivate their account for one year.

“Social media, and the internet more broadly, have changed the way we live and the way we keep in touch with friends and family, but it’s hard to find evidence that the internet has made us richer or more productive at work,” says one of the researchers Jay Corrigan, professor of economics at Kenyon College.

The researchers ran three auctions, including two samples of college students, a community sample, and an online sample. Winners were paid upon proof that their membership was deactivated for the set period of time.

“While the measurable impact Facebook and other free online services have on the economy may be small, our results show that the benefits these services provide for their users are large,” wrote the authors. Corrigan says that users described Facebook as “fun” and “useful”. The authors also noted that Facebook remains the top social networking site in the world and the third most visited site on the Internet, after Google and YouTube.

Did you know?

February 2004 Facebook is launched

Dec 2004 Facebook reaches one million active users

March 2008 Sheryl Sandberg hired as COO

Feb 2009 The ‘Like’ button is introduced

April 2012 Facebook purchases Instagram for $1 billion

May 2012 Public offering of Facebook stock

Feb 2014 Facebook purchases WhatsApp for $19 billion

September 2018 1.49 billion people on average log onto Facebook daily

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