This is Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.
Facebook is currently worth some $400 billion dollars to its shareholders. Which might seem like a lot. But a recent study suggests the company is worth many times more than that, to its users.
"Basically our punch line is that Facebook does seem to bring value to its users, and maybe that's the nicest thing anybody has said about Mark Zuckerberg all year. But it does seem to bring joy or utility to people." Sean B. Cash is an economist at Tufts University in Boston.
He and his team asked some 1,300 Facebook users, from colleges, community, and online samples, to put a dollar number on the value the social network brings to their lives. Specifically, they asked users how much they'd need to be paid to deactivate their accounts. And the stakes were real. If a user's offer was accepted, she'd have to deactivate her account, for up to a year. And Cash — remember, that's the actual name of the economist, Cash — would have to pony up the money.
"We did have some budget breaking surprises."
But how big of a surprise? Cash and his team found that, on average, users asked for more than $1,000 dollars in exchange for shutting down their accounts for a year. They reported the results in the journal PLOS ONE.
If you divide Facebook's market capitalization by its number of users — more than 2.2 billion — you'd find that each user is worth about $175 bucks to investors. But actual users seem to prize access to the platform at more than five times that.
Not that Cash and his team are suggesting CEO Mark Zuckerberg should charge that much for access. What they're measuring instead, is what's called consumer surplus — or more simply put, the additional perceived value — that users get from using the service.
"If you think about the history of innovation in general, it's often the case, even when we see somebody like Edison making a lot of money off of the lightbulb, the value to all the users of the lightbulb since then has been much higher than whatever fortune he made."
Facebook's never-ending string of privacy missteps, though, might affect whether we'll say the same of the social network in the future. Whether Zuckerberg likes it or not.
Thanks for listening for Scientific American — 60-Second Science. I'm Christopher Intagliata.
在股东看来，脸谱网目前的价值约为4000亿美元 。这看起来似乎很多 。但最近的一项研究表明，对其用户而言，脸谱网的价值要比这高出好多倍 。
“基本上来说，我们的妙语是：脸谱网似乎为其用户带来了价值，这或许是一年来人们对马克·扎克伯格说过的最棒的话 。但这似乎为人们带来了快乐和效用 。”波士顿塔夫茨大学的经济学家肖恩·B·卡什说到 。
他和团队从大学、社区和在线样本中找到约1300名脸谱网用户，让他们用美元数额来评价这个社交网络给他们生活带来的价值 。具体来说，他们询问用户需要支付给他们多少钱才能让他们注销自已的账户 。风险是真实的 。如果用户的出价被接受，她将不得不停用脸谱网账户长达一年的时间 。而卡什——记住，这是这名经济学家的真名，卡什则必须支付这笔钱款 。
但超支有多令人意外？卡什及其团队发现，用户平均要求超过1000美元来换取关闭帐户一年 。他们将研究结果发表在《公共科学图书馆·综合》期刊上 。
如果你用脸谱网的市值除以其用户数量（超过22亿），你会发现每个用户对投资者来说价值175美元 。但实际用户对接入该平台的估价似乎是这一数字的5倍多 。
并不是说卡什及其团队建议脸谱网首席执行官马克·扎克伯格应该收这么高的访问费 。相反，他们衡量的是“消费者剩余”，或者更简单的说，是用户从使用该服务中获得的额外感知价值 。
不过，脸谱网没完没了的隐私失误，可能会影响我们将来是否会对这个社交网络做出相同的评价 。无论扎克伯格喜欢与否 。
谢谢大家收听科学美国人——60秒科学 。我是克里斯托弗·因塔利亚塔 。
1. pony up 为…付款；
Each guest had to pony up $40 for the meal.
2. on average 平均起来；按平均值；
400 people a year die of this disease on average.
3. in exchange for 作为交换；
Would you like my old TV in exchange for this camera?
4. shut down (使)(工厂、公司等)关闭,歇业，停业；
It is required by law to shut down banks which it regards as chronically short of capital.