Microsoft Pays $26 Billion to Buy the Microsoftiest Social Network Ever

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.


Yet more exciting news from the world of high tech:

Microsoft is buying LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, a deal in which one of the world’s biggest social networks will join a software and computing giant as it tries to broaden its reach in online services.

….LinkedIn [ ] is already a major brand name, with 433 million users and $3 billion a year in revenue….Still, recent estimates suggest only a fraction of LinkedIn’s users log in on a monthly basis — highlighting the challenge ahead for Microsoft and LinkedIn as they try to grow the social network. The plan, said Weiner in his staff email, is to integrate LinkedIn with virtually all of Microsoft’s products, from Outlook to Calendar to Skype to Windows.1

Gee, only a fraction? Here’s an experiment for Microsoft: Allow LinkedIn users to delete their accounts completely. Then sit back and see how many folks take you up on this. LinkedIn may be a major brand name, but it’s also been infamous for years because of its refusal to ever allow anyone to leave its fabulous family. If you so much as sign up just to see what all the fuss is about, you can never leave, and you will get “invitations” forever from acquaintances who want you to join their LinkedIn network.

I get LinkedIn email invites all the time. I’d like to delete my account so these people don’t think I’m being unfriendly and deliberately refusing to network with them, but I can’t. Hell, I just tried to log in right now to see if anything has changed, but I couldn’t. Despite sending endless emails to me at calpundit@cox.net, LinkedIn claims to have no knowledge of that email address when I try to log in—though I suppose it doesn’t matter much since I have no idea what my password is anyway.

I suppose many (all?) social networking sites do this. I’ve never tried to delete my Twitter or Facebook accounts, for example, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s essentially impossible. Still, if you want to know how many people really use LinkedIn, someone should ask Microsoft how many users access their accounts, say, once a week. (I’m being generous here.) How about it, Satya? How many accounts did you really buy? And will you allow the rest of us to leave, once and for all?

1Sounds great! What could go wrong?

UPDATE: Just to prove that Twitter can occasionally be useful, a reader informs me that it’s now possible to delete a LinkedIn account. Sort of. Here’s the LinkedIn page:

Closing your account means deleting your profile and removing access to all your LinkedIn information from our site….You can close your account directly from the Close Account page. Before you do, please note:

….Your profile will no longer be visible on LinkedIn.

Better than nothing, I suppose. But note that closing your account means only that your profile “will no longer visible.” It doesn’t meant that LinkedIn actually deletes all your personal information.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest