Internet services were suspended after the arrest of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on May 9 and then restored after three days but social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are still suspended and no official statement has been issued by the Government of Pakistan so far in this regard.
Undoubtedly, such a suspension of internet and social media in Pakistan is causing heavy damages to the economy of the country. The economic loss of social media closure in Pakistan depends on several factors, including the specific platforms that are affected and the extent of their usage in the country. While it is a bit difficult to provide exact figures of economic loss, here are some potential areas that could be impacted:
Advertising & Marketing: Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are widely used for advertising and marketing purposes. Businesses rely on these platforms to reach their target audience, promote their products or services, and generate leads. A closure of social media disrupts advertising campaigns, potentially resulting in reduced brand exposure and customer acquisition, impacting the revenue of businesses that heavily rely on these platforms.
E-commerce: Social media plays a significant role in e-commerce activities, with businesses utilizing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest for product showcasing, customer engagement, and driving sales. If social media remains closed for a significant period of time, online retailers and businesses face challenges in reaching their audience, marketing their products, and completing transactions, potentially leading to a decline in sales and revenue.
Influencer Marketing: Social media influencers collaborate with brands to promote products and services to their followers. If social media platforms remain closed for a few days, influencers are unable to engage with their audience, potentially affecting brand partnerships and the associated revenue stream.
Communication & Networking: Social media platforms provide a means for individuals, businesses, and organizations to communicate, collaborate, and network. Social media closure badly impacts communication channels, particularly for businesses that rely on these platforms for customer support and engagement.
Digital Content Creation: Social media platforms are often used by content creators, such as bloggers, vloggers, and artists, to share their work and engage with their audience. If social media banned for an extended period, content creators may experience a decline in reach, engagement, and potential monetization opportunities.
Online Communities & Information Sharing: Social media platforms also serve as spaces for online communities, news dissemination, and information sharing. The closure of social media for even a few days affects access to real-time information, community engagement, and changes public discourse.