Facebook added 15.3 billion dollars in value to the European economy last year, mostly by driving 32 billion dollars in revenue, said the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg.
This, she said, according to a report released today by accounting firm Deloitte and Touche at the DLD Conference in Munich.
Sandberg appeared as the closing act of the DLD12, and had attracted one of the biggest crowds of the conference.
“Just as we saw in the United States, the Internet, social media and Facebook are driving economic growth [in Europe]”, she said during her keynote speech.
This is a notion that has been shared by many of the other speakers throughout the past few days, but still Facebook remains an industry frontrunner.
Facebook alone, she said, added 230,000 jobs in Europe in 2011 through its enabling of businesses and new networks.
In the app economy, one of the fastest growing online industries of all, the strongest European player is Germany, she added.
Although the numbers are indeed positive, she also issued a warning to her many listeners.
“We need to recognize that this growth is not going to fuel itself, we need to make sure that we’re investing in technology, and in education”, said Sandberg.
This puts an end to the perception that social media is “trivial and silly”, she said, as developing countries increasingly find in the Internet opportunities for economic growth that can create more jobs and enable small businesses.
A clear message and one that the attendees will surely carry with them as the keynote, and by that also the DLD12 itself, came to an end.