back to article Microsoft's paid $60 per LinkedIn user – and it's a bargain, because we're mugs

How can you explain the $25.4bn price tag for Microsoft's acquisition of widely-loathed social network LinkedIn? It's easy. It's all about your personal data, of course. But the price Microsoft puts on your personal data is of particular interest here. Two years ago, Facebook splurged $18.4bn for the over-the-top IM app …

  1. hplasm Silver badge
    Windows

    Gone now.

    Bye MS!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gone now.

      Indeed, I will be contacting my contacts I want to keep from Linked in and removing my profile shortly...

    2. SoloSK71

      Re: Gone now. (never there)

      never facebook

      never whatsapp

      never linkedin

      never twitter

      never snapchat

      never, ever, no, no, no to any social media ever

      plus having protected my systems, accounts, e-mail addresses for over 20 years i get less than one spam e-mail per month

      and i never have to worry about my information being sold, or 'targeted marketing' (unless i do something like opus answering a phone survey and direct it to a c(e,i,f,etc.)o of some corporation i don't like (or even better their personal e-mail address

      1. Lou 2
        Alert

        Re: Gone now. (never there)

        Actually - you do not exist. Good luck with been a digital native. And careful while ploughing the back yard with your horse.

    3. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Gone now.

      Thank god it wasn't bought by Google or Facebook.

  2. energystar
    Headmaster

    So beautiful definition!

    "Jaron Lanier called the info-harvesting platforms "siren servers," which he defined as internet companies that "depend on accumulating and evaluating consumer data without acknowledging a monetary debt to the people mined for all this 'free' information."

    Adding to my dictionary. Thanks Jaron.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So beautiful definition!

      > Adding to my dictionary. Thanks Jaron.

      I think you'll find that 'parasite' is already in there.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Amazingly LinkedIn just got worse

    Time for us to all delete our profiles.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Amazingly LinkedIn just got worse

      Time for us to all delete our profiles.

      Alas, that won't help. As far as I can tell, they're hanging on to the data you delete and as it's a US company there is nothing you can do about that if you're in the EU.

      1. VinceH Silver badge

        Re: Amazingly LinkedIn just got worse

        "Alas, that won't help. As far as I can tell, they're hanging on to the data you delete"

        At this point I smile at the nonsense I've put on my LinkedIn profile. Some of it is real, but most of it is just silly - such as being a member of the Pie Eaters Association, and that my first job involved monitoring clients' pie purchases and stock levels.

        Every time someone I know tells me I should take it more seriously, I add some more stupidity.

      2. raving angry loony

        Re: Amazingly LinkedIn just got worse

        I changed my data a few years ago to "nonsense" data, not that the original info was all that accurate, since I DO place a value on my private information. That information has now propagated and replaced the old data as far as I can determine. NOW I've deleted my account. Let them mine the nonsense, I hope they enjoy it.

      3. SImon Hobson Silver badge

        Re: Amazingly LinkedIn just got worse

        < ... and as it's a US company ...

        Which is now (or soon will be) owned by a company with an EU presence, and that brings it (to an extent) within the remit of EU regulation.

        If they (MS) want any of that information to be of "value" to them, then they'll need to monetise it - and that means flogging advertising to (in my case) UK based vendorsidiots. And that probably means doing it from one of their European offices.

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Amazingly LinkedIn just got worse

      I deleted my profile within a day of creating it.

      Faecebook levels of cringey sadness can be found therein.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Amazingly LinkedIn just got worse

        I bet 2/3rds of those profiles are out of date, why delete it, you just forget it and it goes away as your change jobs. So $180 a profile? It looks like Microsoft simply overpaid. MySpace type money, or Skype type money, for businesses that simply aren't worth 5% of the price.

        (added) a quick search suggest $166m revenue, so fair value, say a couple of billion, a desperate buyer, say 4 billion, Microsoft must seriously be scared to pay that kind of price.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Amazingly LinkedIn just got worse

      Alas.. I can't. My last employer insisted that we all have LinkedIn accounts. So, most us used the company email addy. Now that I'm retired, no access to that addy. No spam either as I used that address for a lot of BS that was insisted on.

  4. energystar
    Windows

    You're a mental image stealer, Andrew :D

    "In neither case does the well-worn phrase "you are the product" sound smart, but it's too clever. You are not the product, you are a data producer who's agreed to a rotten deal. The worker who's trusted his wage negotiations not to a union, but to the boss..."

    NOW, any ideas about how AI is going to fill input silos, for its self-training?

  5. DougS Silver badge

    I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

    Microsoft has made several very large acquisitions in the past decade. All have been utter failures and been written off in their entirety. I see no reason why this won't be the same.

    This is why I want to see Apple increase their dividends / buybacks. I don't like them having such a huge pile of cash, because the board could always get a stupid idea in their head, though I can't see them being nearly as stupid as Microsoft was today.

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

      One day Apple might have enough cash on hand to buy Microsoft.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

        One day Apple might have enough cash on hand to buy Microsoft.

        .. if Apple was up for utterly wasting cash. It's taking a long time to die, but MS is not a healthy company.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

          MS is not dying. PC sales may have peaked, but they aren't going anywhere and Windows is going to be the default choice for the PC OS for years to come. Windows Server and Office are as well entrenched as ever in the enterprise world.

          What Microsoft can't seem to do is realize that those are the ONLY things they are successful in. Everything else they touch turns to shit, whether they develop it themselves or acquire it for billions. Had they taken the money they spent on MSN, Zune, Windows Mobile / Windows Phone, Bing, Xbox, Skype, Acquantive, Windows RT, Nokia, and so forth and put it in lottery tickets, they would have seen a better return.

          The best thing Microsoft did in the past decade was failing to get Yahoo to agree to their $45 billion bid - and they were reportedly willing to go as high as $50 billion. As it turned out, Yahoo's internet assets were worth much less (look what prices they are talking about for them now) but their Alibaba holdings (if Microsoft held onto it and didn't sell it prematurely) would have limited Microsoft's loss on that deal to "only" $15 billion or so :)

          Even with all their stupidity and mismanagement, they're a cash printing machine. They will probably outlive both of us even with billions being thrown in the trash every time the board gets another stupid idea.

        2. TheVogon Silver badge

          Re: I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

          "MS is not a healthy company"

          An AAA credit rating (better than Apple) says otherwise...

          1. DougS Silver badge

            Re: I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

            Part of a credit rating is taking on debt and showing an ability to pay it back. Apple took on their first debt only a couple years ago, so they don't have much credit history.

            See how easy it is to get the best mortgage rates with no credit history, even if you can show $1 million in the bank and you'll understand how this works.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

              Part of a credit rating is taking on debt and showing an ability to pay it back.

              ...

              See how easy it is to get the best mortgage rates with no credit history, even if you can show $1 million in the bank and you'll understand how this works.

              It does seem that MS is seeking to achieve a number of objectives with this transaction. Firstly, it isn't a hard cash offer, but a debt funded cash transaction. I suspect this method is being used to enable MS to move monies currently offshore back to the US without incurring a tax bill. So MS (US corporate) are clearly intending to enhance their credit rating through this transaction. Additionally, it probably also solves an increasingly awkward problem, namely the vast amounts of cash residing in various tax havens, which various governments are beginning to look at, in their hunger for additional tax revenues...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I predict they write off $20 billion in value before 2020

            An AAA credit rating (better than Apple) says otherwise...

            We're talking about a company that is skirting the rules in as many ways as it can possibly get away with and you site their rating as evidence that all is well?

            Maybe, just maybe it may be worth for you investigating how rating agencies operate. Read the book or watch the movie, and keep in mind that this is NON-fiction, it actually happened. I personally see Apple's lesser rating as further evidence that they're playing things a bit more straight than Microsoft and others.

  6. Mage Silver badge

    Value of personal data

    Actually there is no sense in which the violation of Privacy by Google, Whatsapp, LinkedIn, Facebook etc is worth it.

    Also the comparisons of $42 / $60 vs a survey of $140 worth is nonsense. The value is not what the site user might put on each piece of data, but how much money the site owner can make per user (usually from adverts) after all running costs. If Users could charge the Site owner a fair amount, then most of these parasites would close as unprofitable.

    The business model only works for two reasons:

    1) Users actually using the site

    2) Advertisers paying site owner to advertise on it.

    Ultimately no different to roads and Billboards, except that people's personal data is being exploited AND people are sharing stuff to world + dog and variously damaging privacy and quality of life not just themselves but people they reference who may never even access the site.

    1. John Lilburne Silver badge

      Re: Value of personal data

      One can always opt out of all of this. A non-smart phone cost next to nothing, allows you to text, receive calls, and doesn't post your location to the world. You can swap PAYG sim cards in and out of it if you want to do the account recovery thing.

      1. energystar
        Boffin

        "One can always opt out of all of this. A non-smart phone..."

        Telcos keep their smarts [And Who-knows-whom is the unknown Firmware OS]. And non-smart phones are as non-smart as OEMs says so.

        More relevant here is lack of sensors, actually limiting the harvest.

    2. getHandle

      Re: Value of personal data

      There are adverts on LinkedIn? Oh yeah - my Ad Block Plus counter goes up when I visit the site!

  7. twilkins

    The LinkedIn "graph" only has value if it's accurate which requires people to regularly use the site. I don't think I'm alone in steering well clear since it got all spammy and full of recruiters (i.e. about 5+ years ago).

    Not to mention that people I've only ever had social contact with "connect" to me and then give me recommendations for obscure technical skills. If my experience is anything to go by MS paid a lot of money for a huge out of date mailing list.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Not to mention that people I've only ever had social contact with "connect" to me and then give me recommendations for obscure technical skills. If my experience is anything to go by MS paid a lot of money for a huge out of date mailing list."

      OK. Accepting connections and recommendations now as Stuppy George, for as long I can be bothered to monitor mailinator.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A bargain? Was this drivel written by Microsoft?

    The get to know my gender? Shock f***ing horror. I daresay they could have guessed that from my name. And I've not told Linkedin about either marital status or sexuality.

    So they reckon each profile (!=active user) is worth sixty dollars. Where's the worth in me to MS? I don't like MS, and I won't alter that view either way for this. Whilst I'm in a reasonably senior role, I don't have IT or procurement decision making powers (and certainly wouldn't admit to any influence if I had any). So as advertising cannon fodder I'm worthless.

    The reason Microsoft have just spent a staggering $26bn on a pile of incomplete and unformatted CVs is not some clever strategic rationale. It is because they simply don't know what else to do with the money. I haven't paid to use Linkedin until now, and I won't in future. If the cost of a few adverts gets me access then that's fine, if it goes down hill (as is likely) then I'll close my account. Problem for Microsoft is that their weighted average cost of capital is about 9%. Amortise the capital over fifteen years, cost the capital at 9%, and in the next could of years Microsoft have to get back $5.8bn each year in profit from Linkedin just to break even. But Linkedin made a net loss in each of the past four quarters. Microsoft need to make an operating profit significantly above the circa $3.2bn revenue that Linkedin reported over the past year.

    Conclusion: Linkedin shareholders should cash in and laugh. Microsoft shareholders should gnash their teeth and weep as the company's M&A touch of death repeats itself. Interesting data experiment for anybody with time on their hands: Collectively, how much have US tech companies written off from failed acquisitions since (say) 1990?

    1. energystar
      Holmes

      how much have US tech companies written off...?

      Tax nuances.

  9. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    This "we" and "you" that keeps cropping up in the article. Count me out.

  10. Erik4872

    I'll never get the marketing people's valuations...

    I have absolutely no idea what real world metrics marketing people use to value the personal data for an individual. I'm a good example of an edge case in their world; I'm 100% unaffected (in a positive way) by any advertising. I have never bought a product or service based solely on an ad. Yet, there are apparently billions of drooling idiots out there who will buy whatever the advertisers tell them to.

    I think the acquisition makes sense given the shift I'm seeing with Microsoft. They're going from selling software by the license to being the toll collector for everything. If they can collect a toll on the employment process, basically by doing nothing beyond making sure the platform stays up, then they win as soon as LinkedIn Premium subscription and recruiter revenue reaches the purchase price plus the running cost. It's the same mentality as Azure...Microsoft is increasingly making it very difficult to purchase one-off licenses or to sign enterprise agreements that don't involve Azure-hosted software. Our company, who was staunchly against putting source code for anything out in the cloud, caved and asked me to start designing a VSTS solution for our developers. New services and applications are cloud-hosted because everyone's convinced it's cheaper than buying hardware and software. It's a big shift, but Microsoft is pouring all that extra money into making sure it collects revenue at every exit point from a service.

    If even a small percentage of LinkedIn users falls into the gullible-to-advertising category, then $60 per user is a bargain -- they'll be able to resell that data over and over again for multiple times that amount. LinkedIn isn't like Facebook; people use it to get jobs and post mostly factual, real content.

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: marketing people's valuations...

      The purpose of the valuations is to sell adverts, not products.

    2. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: I'll never get the marketing people's valuations...

      I have absolutely no idea what real world metrics marketing people use to value the personal data for an individual. I'm a good example of an edge case in their world; I'm 100% unaffected (in a positive way) by any advertising. I have never bought a product or service based solely on an ad. Yet, there are apparently billions of drooling idiots out there who will buy whatever the advertisers tell them to.

      No, that doesn't mean the advertising is wasted, it probably makes you the advertiser's wet dream: you haven't understood the intention of the advertiser so you can't apply skepticism in the appropriate direction.

      Advertisers do not expect to be able to plug any old crap and random members of the public simply to buy it unquestioningly. They do know that if you are to buy their product then firstly you must know that it exists and is available: either that their offering is among the options you have when considering a given purchase, or that their product will provide some real benefit to you, even if prior to that you hadn't been considering a purchase.

      Suggesting that people will buy a product simply because they have seen it advertised is utter naivete and the advertisers know that - ultimately the need has to be there. Indeed, this is why the personal data is valuable to them, so potential customers can be targeted rather than a much wider group, most of whom simply who never would buy that product. If you have ever gone to manufacturer's websites to get data on products before making a considered purchase you have responded to advertising. If ten or twenty years ago you ever picked up a copy of e.g. Computer Shopper and waded through hundreds of pages of ads to find the best deal on X you have responded to advertising. That is the response the advertisers are banking on and the one you fail to recognize even exists.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I'll never get the marketing people's valuations...

        "If you have ever gone to manufacturer's websites to get data on products before making a considered purchase you have responded to advertising. If ten or twenty years ago you ever picked up a copy of e.g. Computer Shopper and waded through hundreds of pages of ads to find the best deal on X you have responded to advertising."

        There's a huge difference between this and the usual crap being forced into people's faces. In the latter case the customer is actually looking for something. In the former the potential customer is simply being annoyed. And if that potential customer is anything like me they're not going to turn into real customers for that advertiser's product; they're going to buy from somebody who didn't annoy them.

        All the other guff is just BS being fed by the advertising industry to their clients - the one group you can guarantee the advertising industry is successfully selling to.

        1. CustardGannet

          Re: I'll never get the marketing people's valuations...

          I'll never get their logic either.

          I searched online for, & then lashed out 50 quid on, some bicycle panniers about 3 months ago. I'm still getting bombarded by adverts for bicycle panniers.

      2. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

        BOLLOCKS!

        "If you have ever gone to manufacturer's websites to get data on products before making a considered purchase you have responded to advertising."

        I will have made a considered choice based on the *information provided* rather than listening to some tracking 'sun shines out of my arse and your browsing experience is improved' parasitic twat repeatedly shoving their shit in my face in order to earn 10 cents for a click through which they would not get anyway.

        Feel free to miss the point.

      3. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: I'll never get the marketing people's valuations...

        " If you have ever gone to manufacturer's websites to get data on products before making a considered purchase you have responded to advertising. If ten or twenty years ago you ever picked up a copy of e.g. Computer Shopper and waded through hundreds of pages of ads to find the best deal on X you have responded to advertising."

        There are (broadly) two types of advertising: information advertising and persuasion advertising. Advertisements for Coca Cola are entirely persuasion: everybody knows that Coca Cola exists, and the averts give you no information that you didn't already have, so they aren't about raising brand awareness. On the other hand, adverts for new cars are mostly information adverts, as they are making you aware of a new car on the market, together with a part of persuasion because its someone attractive driving it through Saint-Tropez, etc.

        Advertisements in Computer Shopper are overwhelmingly information rather than persuasion: they are telling you what you can get for a given price. Adverts for PC World on the other hand give you very little information.

    3. Cpt Blue Bear

      Re: I'll never get the marketing people's valuations...

      "I have absolutely no idea what real world metrics marketing people use to value the personal data for an individual. I'm a good example of an edge case in their world; I'm 100% unaffected (in a positive way) by any advertising. I have never bought a product or service based solely on an ad. Yet, there are apparently billions of drooling idiots out there who will buy whatever the advertisers tell them to."

      You have misunderstood the purpose of advertising. Its not to sell products but to convince the ad buyer that their ad agency is doing something important and valuable for them. Ad agencies get their income from selling their services not from selling their customers' products. This insight should explain about 90% of advertising. The remainder is, I suspect, mostly vanity driven.

  11. De Facto
    Facepalm

    Probably it is just another very unethical tax optimization

    Reduce billions of cash money stashed abroad in tax-heavens by buying a loss-making operational business that almost solely depends on advertising money, then get a tax reduction from the write-off of the acquired company loss and debts? US government is considering to start taxing money sheltered in offshores for multinationals soon. The only fools will then be MS shareholders who do not own LinkedIn stock and the government's tax office.

    1. Uffish

      Re: Probably it is just another very unethical tax optimization

      On the other hand, I just looked up the Wikipedia article on GEC UK (not to be confused with GE). It starts off: "The General Electric Company, or GEC, was a major UK-based industrial conglomerate...) and gets progressively sadder as you read on.

      GEC was a company with more money than sense. Seems to me that MS is similar.

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Probably it is just another very unethical tax optimization

        GEC was a company with more money than sense. Seems to me that MS is similar.

        GEC was a company that had a lot of sense and hence it accumulated a lot of money and its shares were bluechip rated. However, like all good things they have to come to an end. In GEC's case it was the handing over of control to a new generation of senior management. These "bright young things" had little appreciation of the real value of GEC's accumulated wealth, and set out to prove they were buccaneers...

        Yes it does seem that MS is similar...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Probably it is just another very unethical tax optimization

      Surely paying the tax on $26bn is cheaper than just throwing away $26bn?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We couldn't slurp because no one was buying Windows10...

    So lets try this... Wow, Facebag, Googhoul, and now M$, 3 slurping empires to avoid...

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: We couldn't slurp because no one was buying Windows10...

      Windows 10 has over 300 million active users already. That's the fastest roll out for a new Windows version ever.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: We couldn't slurp because no one was buying Windows10...

        "Windows 10 has over 300 million active users already. That's the fastest roll out for a new Windows version ever."

        Well given that there are more computing devices than ever before out there, plus Windows already had a large locked-in user base and many users were forced into upgrades, of course it will be. Hardly a ringing endorsement though.

        In the mean time Windows is seeing the lowest market share it's seen in decades in terms of personal computing:

        http://gs.statcounter.com/#all-os-ww-monthly-201505-201605

  13. kskropf

    Reintermediation?

    Having just 'given' the Reg some information in order to post this comment, the question becomes how do 'we' start to charge for the information? I will admit to a signal failure of imagination. As an individual, which union or cooperative do I join? Where is the information exchange that brokers the deal - the ticker tape to check the current going rate. Is it possible - necessary - to reintermediate the relationship? But then, what's the difference between my address and the old fashioned address lists advertisers and PRs used to - still ? buy. Work to make stuff that's worth selling, Buy stuff that's worth buying and stay away from 'free' stuff.

    1. kskropf

      Re: Reintermediation?

      Or contribute to a cooperative effort.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You must admire their optimism..

    As much as I dislike Microsoft, I admire their optimism. They're a bit like the obese kid who continues to eat McDonalds but now drinks Diet Coke in the hope that that will help him slim down.

    They announce a new dawn in subscriptions (I haven't, thanks, and I won't) and advertising revenue - the exact revenue that is slipping away everywhere as advertising has become not just a nuisance but an active vector for malware, mostly on the exact platform they happen to own, Windows.

    This is going to take a lot of popcorn to watch...

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: You must admire their optimism..

      My exact thought.

      I had to clean my keyboard after coming across this : "as well as the address books of even more active users".

      While WhatsApp had active users, describing the shuffling hulks and zombies being cattle-prodded by recruiters on LinkedIn as active, requires extreme levels of optimism. Whoever came up with it overdid the St John's Wort (or whatever color pills they were on). LinkedIn had active users and communities 4-5 years ago. Nowdays it is dead CVs, often stripped to the bone to minimize being pestered by moronic head hunters who ignore you contact settings and the aforementioned moronic headhunters themselves. That does no look like "active users" to me.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They think those are all real profiles on there?

    Quite a few of the new ones won't be, for sure.

    1. Wastedspacer

      Re: They think those are all real profiles on there?

      Nope - sadly I know a least a number of those folks have been deceased for some years now :( Hmm, do people who get jail-time ever post a profile update (wait a minute, I suspect most don't get internet access)? Interesting to speculate how many $Millions MS paid for expired, incarcerated or fake identities!!!

  16. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    "But unless we start acting rationally..."

    Have you met the human race?

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Quite. That's where it all falls down, of course.

  17. minnsey231

    FWIW LinkedIn seems to have a different reputation around the world, a few years ago in the UK it felt like a business orientated facebook, pointless and full of guff.

    Whereas now, here in SF-land, real CVs seems to be a thing of the past, most of our news hires now come in courtesy of LinkedIn profiles and GitHub/Bitbucket etc activity. I don't think I've seen what my old UK comprehensive taught me was a 'proper' CV in a couple of years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Professional profile?

      A couple of years ago I was put forward for three jobs by personal recommendation of existing employees. I was a perfect match for the required skill-set, and earned a lot less than they were offering.

      When I followed up the CV with a call a week later I was told in each case (by the HR droid) that I had been rejected because I didn't have a professional online presence consisting of a Linked-In profile and GIThub commits.

      I joined Linked-In on the back of these rejections and became an active contributor in specialist groups for over a year; then the feeds from the groups dried up, and I now haven't been on in months. It feels as though they left me rather than I left them, but I'll delete my profile now they've been sold.

  18. Lee D Silver badge

    Why is the graph worth that much?

    Honestly, where does this Monopoly money actually come from, exist or go to? Advertising? CPM's are in the pence range nowadays. You can't sell the data directly, and if you can they certainly can't do much that generates revenue with it and so they probably won't pay a lot for it.

    LinkedIn Premium costs a stupdendous fortune, and I imagine 99% of their users aren't paying that. And all the adverts in the world aren't going to make most of those people part with a penny.

    Literally, where is this revenue stream's source?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Literally, where is this revenue stream's source?

      Same as free-to-air TV has been for 50+ years.

      1. Lee D Silver badge

        A TV ad costs £2000 minimum to air and might reach hundreds of thousands to millions of customers. As such, they can actually "fund" the TV channels that air them even if they cost £10,000 or more to produce, and still make profit for the person producing them.

        And peak spots can cost £1,000,000 and up for 30 seconds of footage on a single channel.

        Online advertising is several large orders of magnitude from anything like that, even video advertising, even splatted over the front page of something.

        TV actually has a viable revenue stream, which is why there are so many TV channels - and still profiting despite there being so many competitors just one station up.

        But online advertising on any single website? There's little to no value there.

  19. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Windows

    Just sit still, this won't hurt a bit.

    "Today Microsoft announced that a LinkedIn users will require a Windows Live login to access the service. Also, to improve the user experience, LinkedIn service will only be compatible with the Windows 10 operating system."

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Just sit still, this won't hurt a bit.

      Ah. I see. Visiting LinkedIn is the new way that you can opt in* to GWX. Got it.

      * Come on, it's no worse than their current definition of opting in.

    2. Captain Badmouth
      Happy

      Re: Just sit still, this won't hurt a bit.

      "Today Microsoft announced that a LinkedIn users will require a Windows Live login to access the service."

      That should take care of the 50% of the member list who have passed on, I know quite a few who still have an online "presence". A bit like my old Audi which was still on Google earth until last December.

  20. wolfetone Silver badge

    All credit to Micro$hite for paying $60 per user for what essentially is a network that:

    a) is full of motivational speakers/blog posts/images that sound nice but don't mean a whole lot

    b) is full of people who have an account just to have an account and don't understand how it works or it's "benefits"

    c) is full of bloody recruiters who give themselves bullshit titles such as "Specialist PHP Communications Enabler" or "VP Of Talent Acquisition".

    I am the fool that paid ~£50 a month for their Premium account, and the only benefit I got from it was being able to email Tom Kalinske to thank him for what he did at Sega* and stalk former colleagues without them knowing it was me.

    I got feck all work from it, feck all connections because everyone is only on there to sell. No one cares about how cool your company is, how cool your business is. All they are bothered with is how you can benefit them in financial terms.

    *he responded to me, which is nice of the guy. Top bloke actually.

  21. Ben Boyle
    Stop

    El Reg seems to be monetizing it's user base, too

    Given that I had a call on my work cellphone number from "The Register on behalf of Kaminario" trying to give me all flash storage white papers a couple of weeks ago...

    One wonders what value Vulture Central places on individual commentards.

    1. Furstenburger

      Re: El Reg seems to be monetizing it's user base, too

      Same. I've been hounded for the last two years (by whoever el Reg sold my number to) wanting to send me white papers. Have asked each time for my details to be removed from whichever database they work from, but the calls keep coming.

      Do I need to send in my contact list to qualify for the £140?

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: El Reg seems to be monetizing it's user base, too

        "Do I need to send in my contact list to qualify for the £140?"

        No, but an email to the ICO wouldn't hurt you.

  22. anoco

    Ignorance is not bliss

    The main problem here is that the overwhelming majority of people on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and so on, do not understand why their info is so important to someone else.

    These are the same people that see nothing wrong with being snooped by the government. These are the people that willingly take their blue pill everyday and are happy to not know who's behind the curtain. It is after all pretty painful to know you're fighting giants.

    Don't count on them to increase your privacy value. They are working against themselves and against you.

    1. RegW

      Re: Ignorance is not bliss

      Now I'm worried. I'm fine with the blue pill, but who is behind the curtain?

      1. energystar
        Pint

        I'm fine with the blue pill,..

        Did'nt you know? Should have distracted Morpheus, and swallowed both.

        1. Justin Clift

          Re: I'm fine with the blue pill,..

          Obligatory xkcd

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've heard that 75% of all LinkedIn members are fake...

    Networks of bots to extract data *from* LinkedIn.

    Problem is, 75% of their data is from other bots.

    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

      Re: I've heard that 75% of all LinkedIn members are fake...

      I don't see this as a problem. Not for me, anyway.

  24. Bwinski

    Kiss Linkedin buh..bye...

    HA!!! Two years and Microshaft will do the same to Linkedin as they did to Nokia... Dust...

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      ...and Office and Exchange and...

  25. Oengus Silver badge

    I hope they like my profile...

    I seem to remember creating a profile years ago to help a friend learn how to use Linked In. I can't remember exactly what the profile was but the job title was "Wave tester" and the previous role was "Left hand of God" or something similar. Once I worked out a how things worked I abandoned the site had have never gone back.

  26. Derichleau

    Scraping profiles from LinkedIn is unfair data processing

    I've clarified this with the ICO on a number of occasions that processing information found on LinkedIn - outside of LinkedIn's terms and conditions, is unfair data processing. I tend to find that desperate employment agencies are the worst offenders. I'm arguing that in some cases, for example, when the organisation has already been advised by the ICO that it's unfair, such process will also be unlawful. The ICO has said that it's not but as is often the case, they've failed to support their view; I'm just supposed to accept the word of their Criminal Investigation Team. Yeah, right!

    If you receive e-mails from employment agencies at work out of the blue you should ask them how they obtained your information.

  27. Dr Paul Taylor

    Unable to delete my account

    The connection requests that I get from LinkedIn are from (a) people I've never heard of, (b) tradesmen that I contacted but who never actually came to see the job and (c) people with the same name as someone that (let's say) my partner doesn't know that I know. In the last case, Apple must have sold LinkedIn my name and email address and the name but not the address of the person in question.

    The link for deleting your LinkedIn account is not hard to find. However, when I hit the final "close account" button, nothing happens. I send a "feedback" message saying this and am told to go to the same page. I try to reply by email saying that it doesn't work and I get a delivery report saying "mailbox over quota".

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Unable to delete my account

      Your account has been nicked and the duplication and hand over is already underway. The failure is deliberate.

      I was afraid it was too late.

      No joke.

  28. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    use of your data

    IIRC there are two levels of membership for LinkedIn - a pay-for premium account and a free account. I'd wager that the vast majority of those people whining about what LinkedIn/MS are going to do with data are 'free' members.

    When are people going to realise that you aren't getting a service for free - you just get a product or service for zero £/$/€ at the point of use and then pay for it in kind further down the line?

  29. PickledAardvark

    Recruiting people via LinkedIn

    I'm interested to hear how it has worked out for employers.

    I've looked at LinkedIn profiles of people with whom I have worked. The ones who were good at the job have modest profiles, factually accurate about the skills I am qualified to judge. The lousy ones have ostensibly attractive profiles and you'd have to have picked up their mess to know that they weren't up to the job. If I want to read eloquent career fiction, I can just read a CV. I wouldn't use LinkedIn to determine whether an unknown person is competent for a job I was offering.

    And consequently, I wouldn't use LinkedIn to promote myself.

  30. GrumpyOldMan

    Well when I created my profile I did NOT donate it to Microshaft, so I think I'll be saying bye bye to SuckedIn.

  31. MrKrotos

    Am I the only one?

    Am I the only one that does indeed click on ads just to then close the window?

    Its a game I like to play when bored, the more clicks the better :P

  32. Mike 16 Silver badge

    Monetizing?

    I doubt that MSFT is all that interested in the (meager) advertising revenue. More likely they are interested in knowing who is looking for what skills, and who claims to have them. Of course the seekers may be stalking horses, and the skills are often the result of some guy you worked with 40 years ago and haven't talked to in 20 clicking "yes" to "Does Mike16 know iOS?" because, why not?

    I didn't say it was a _clever_ plan. Just that it's a plan. Like most people, I only have a LinkedIn presence because I was badgered into it by a VP at a previous employer. Needless to say, that email address no longer exists, and the one I replaced it with is one (of many) dedicated to spam from "you must register to use this site" sites. My _interesting_ "profile facts" are unlikely to be listed on LinkedIn, or El Reg, for that matter.

  33. Seriouscyrus

    While it averages out at 60 a user, i imagine the vast majority are worth a lot less, with some very big whales, networks of very high earners and board members and such.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    and active users?

    those that have have logged in in the last 3 months and have at least 1 connection. ?

  35. This is my handle

    Who's widely loathed again?

    "... Microsoft's acquisition of widely-loathed social network LinkedIn?".

    I hadn't realized LI was "widely-loathed", though I know MS certainly has its share of detractors. I've been on LI for about a dozen years and have found it a useful resource for recruiting, job-hunting, and other professional "networking" purposes. They have made some bone-head moves to be sure, like trying to turn the email-like "Messages" button into something more like chat, and ending up with something having the disadvantages of both. Sending me an email saying "Why pay those nasty ole recruiters when you could upgrade to our Recruiter Lite Premium...." when their best customers are ... recruiters and in fact I had already evaluated the upgrade and found it not nearly as useful as a decent recruiter. And of course the data breaches...

    But when it comes to privacy & social networking is "If there's info you don't want made public, don't make it public" (by posting it to a social networking site). If you take naked selfies on a device which backs itself up to "the cloud", you shouldn't be shocked when your selfies are ... well, in the cloud.

    MS too has been useful to me these last thirty years; there are things they've done right, but as for products they've acquired (Viso, Skype, all Nokia products...) they've nearly all been made worse by their new corporate overlords; the one exception which comes to mind is the corner case (not really acquired) of SQL Server which outgrew its Sybase roots a decade or so ago.

    I fear LI will be the lesser for this transaction; any suggested alternatives?

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha Ha

    $60 for my user RSole! They could have bought RSole and I would had set up RSend for a mere $100 had they come direct to me.

  37. vistisen

    You have to pay??

    I didn't know you had to pay to get information from linked in. I assumed it was freeware. They have regularly distributed my all information to the general public via the internet and a few hackers

  38. Stoneliu

    Why MS buy Linkedin? Don't understand

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