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You can’t put a price on data

Evidently you can and it is quite a hefty one… Yesterday Microsoft paid a staggering $26.2b to acquire LinkedIn. The deal highlights the power of data and its importance to those who ‘own’ it. For big players like Microsoft, the price of our personal data is second to its importance to their ambitions and with 430 million members worldwide, it becomes easier to understand why Microsoft are keen to pay such an eye watering sum.

Data is power and in context, Microsoft have paid approximately £170 for each active LinkedIn user – time to update your profile, now you are feeling guilty you aren’t delivering bang for Microsoft’s buck perhaps?

It’s yet another statement of how social networks are changing the world we live in – from logging onto Facebook when you wake up, checking your Twitter feed on your way to work, to signing into Linked In when you land at the office. Our lives revolve around being connected and it is this connectivity that Microsoft wants a part of and of course all the powerful data that sits at its heart.

Microsoft’s vision is “to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Whilst Linked In’s purpose is “to connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

Viewed side-by-side there are already clear synergies between each purpose and it’s easy to see why this deal makes perfect sense for both parties.

But will it be a marriage made in heaven? Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella had this to say:

“Think about it: How people find jobs, build skills, sell, market and get work done and ultimately find success requires a connected professional world.”

“It requires a vibrant network that brings together a professional’s information in LinkedIn’s public network with the information in Office 365.”

He went on to say, he sees a future where:

“…a LinkedIn newsfeed serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete.”

As a business that uses both products everyday, we see this integration as very exciting. Not nearly as exciting as the opportunities in front of Microsoft to monetise its shiny, new, 430 million strong database. So standby for lots of targeted ads in your newsfeed each day, after all at £170 per active user, Microsoft needs to get its money’s worth from us all.

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