How much would I have to pay you to quit Facebook?

Many people may feel like they are addicted to Facebook. But it’s amazing to see just how little people actually value it.

Economists have been carrying out experiments to see how much people would have to be paid to do without certain types of websites. By this measure, social media appears to be the very bottom of the pile — worth almost 60 times less than search.

Their rough-and-ready conclusion is that the typical person would have to be paid about $17,500 a year to do without internet search engines, $8,500 to abandon email and $3,500 to quit using digital maps. Video streaming through sites such as Netflix and YouTube is worth over $1,150 a year; ecommerce $850, and social media just over $300.



  1. Video streaming through sites such as Netflix

    That seems weird. Being paid to quite something you think is valuable enough to have paid for in the first place.

  2. Thanks for the comment Khürt.

    I guess it’s an interesting way of discovering what an economist would call the consumer surplus of using Netflix. Why wouldn’t Netflix charge people as much as they are willing to pay? It puts me in mind of popular bands who could charge far more for a concert that sells out instantly, but don’t for fear of looking like they are ripping off their fans and losing goodwill in the long run.

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