Facebook to offer free advertising


Facebook announced plans today to help thousands of small firms by offering free advertising to boost their chances of growing their business.

The firm will give away £4.2 million-worth of adverts to tens of thousands of small businesses across Europe following the launch of a series of roadshows being run in conjunction with the British Chambers of Commerce on building Facebook business pages.

A new report by Deloitte showed today that Facebook has supported 35,200 jobs across Europe and contributed £2.2 billion to the UK economy.

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said: "Today's report shows that Facebook is about a lot more than sharing pictures or keeping up with friends. Increasingly, social media means growth and jobs.

"As the Deloitte study highlights, social media is proving particularly valuable for small and medium-sized businesses, which form the backbone of the European economy.

"The impact of social media is a bright spot in challenging times, but growth won't happen on its own. We need to make sure that we invest in the right education, training, technology and networks so that social media can continue to drive innovation and economic growth."

Chancellor George Osborne said: "This study confirms the innovation and growth that companies like Facebook stimulate in the UK.

"Technology, creative and digital companies will play a central role in the UK's future growth and recovery so it's critical that we equip businesses and young people with the right skills and resources to succeed and grow."