back to article LinkedIn sinkin': $10bn gone in one day as shares plummet 40%

A rough start of the year for tech stocks was amplified Friday when job-based social media company LinkedIn saw its shares plummet over 40 per cent, wiping $10bn off its value thanks to weak earnings. The company announced that sales for the current quarter would be six per cent lower than expected ($820m on expectations of $ …

  1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "But with many expecting 2016 to be the year of reckoning for many grossly over-valued tech companies, and with tech stocks dropping faster than a stock market that has done little but go down since the start of the year, it looks like LinkedIn was in the wrong place at the wrong time. What this all means for companies that aren't making any money remains to be seen."

    Depends. As long as sufficient money (it's never 'enough' money) is made (up) by sustaining the bubble - business as usual. At the moment it seems like more money can be made from bursting the bubble, things may get interesting.

  2. gnufrontier

    So who lost ? The smart money or the dumb money ?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Probably a bunch of early employees who had to pay tax on what the IRS claim their options were worth at the previous price but are now worth half as much - even if they could sell them.

      The late round VCs that gave it the $25Bn valuation will all have exit preferences which mean they wont lose anything

      1. Will 28


        I'm not a tax expert, but I'm reasonably sure you don't pay tax on an option until you take it (in fact even then I'm not sure what you have to pay, surely the bulk of the tax, if not all, is when you sell those shares?). I also don't think you can sell options, just elect to buy the shares at that price.

        However I'm no expert on the matter...

  3. waldo kitty

    this is a surprise??

    linkedin and others have never been the shit they thought they might be... i've been head-hunted by many entities that didn't have a clue... it is even worse when they allow others to scrape your credentials and try to scam you into working for something that is not... the bad part is that one thinks they are getting involved in something that is good and yet there's all the rape and pillage going on from the hackers and spamers that no one seems to give a f#ck about... those that have fallen prey to these scams deserve what they have sown... security and personal protection should be first and foremost... sadly the youth of today just don't get it... YAY! right... whatever...

  4. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    A ZeroDay Dreamer's Worst Nightmare and Best Friend?

    LinkedIn .... a Spying Tool delivering Persons of Interest to Collapsing Systems and Future Challenged Executive Administrations?

    And is not such a massive instant loss not indicative of an Applied Vapourware Product?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sales for the current quarter would be six per cent lower

    I don't have an account, but I've used the site for a number of years on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, mostly to look at the profiles of the great and the good who are set to rule us.

    LinkedIn sell things? Who knew?

    What exactly do they sell, to who, and why didn't I know (other than I'm not in the target market)?

    "They sell advertising" is not a valid medium term answer. That's Google's job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: sales for the current quarter would be six per cent lower

      "mostly to look at the profiles of the great and the good who are set to rule us."

      The judge who remarked last week on how ignorant politicians are of the law and how often they post stuff to Twitter without thinking - had a point.

      But the Linkedin pages of the rich and famous, along with their Wikipedia pages, are a salutary lesson in just how inflated their own self opinion can be. In the 18th century no man was a hero to his valet. In the 21st century almost no man is a hero to anybody with an internet connection and a functioning brain.

      1. picturethis

        Re: sales for the current quarter would be six per cent lower

        "In the 21st century almost no man is a hero to anybody with an internet connection and a functioning brain." <- This.

        This is exactly why I am not "on" FaceCrook or Twatter.... First of all, why would I want anyone to follow me? And secondly, why would I want to follow anyone else (they're more likely more of an idiot than I am...). I want to follow my own path..

        But, I am not completely without fault ;) I am in linkedin, but I only use it to post my skills and I only connect with people that I have personally worked with (or have done business with). Needless to say, I'm not very popular when I decline a connection request due to this.. Probably pisses off LinkedIn that I'm not providing much data (other than connection metadata and boosting their membership by 1). - Tough.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reckoning will come ..

    .. but not quite from the angle of overvaluation.

    I think privacy issues will finally hit where they should, but not much before the end of Q1.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The reckoning will come ..

      I think privacy issues will finally hit where they should

      Why? The whole point of Linkedin is for those who choose to advertise themselves, and to stay in touch with colleagues who don't qualify as friends. If people give too much away about themselves, that's their choice, equally they can screw down the privacy settings as far as the system allows - and if that's not enough they shouldn't have an account.

      I use Linkedin as a personal advert, to stay in touch, and to look up business people who I may be expecting to meet and don't know. And I use it to see who knows whom, for when I need a contact or referral at a company where I don't know anybody. For the stuff on my profile, I'm happy for that to be public domain, and happy to tolerate a limited amount of spam (all to my corporate email account, natch).

      Just like FB - their system, their terms. If you don't like the terms, don't use it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reckoning will come ..

        The comment wasn't limited to LinkedIn, but it may be worth knowing that LinkedIn doesn't delete anything that you remove. If you don't believe me, ask for the data archive. You'll get it in two parts: one immediate part and one they apparently need to dig up from somewhere. It's quite educational.

        As my work requires discretion I cannot afford to have clients hooked up on LinkedIn, but I can't stop the dumb ones from asking for a hookup anyway, at which point the relation is still not visible to the outside world, but LinkedIn now has it logged. It's one of the reasons I'm considering removing my profile altogether.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: The reckoning will come ..

          "at which point the relation is still not visible to the outside world, but LinkedIn now has it logged. It's one of the reasons I'm considering removing my profile altogether."

          What makes you think removing your profile will cause them to remove any of your data or remove the linkages they've established?

          They're even creepier and more pernicious about trying to dig up your associations than facebook, which takes some doing.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The reckoning will come ..

            What makes you think removing your profile will cause them to remove any of your data or remove the linkages they've established?

            Because it will stop clients in need from making the mistake of requesting a link: if there is no longer an account, they cannot do that. There would still be the search for my name, but that would be a lot more tenuous.

            The really dumb ones could still be exposed if they allowed LinkedIn access to their email as it so enthusiastically demands, but every bit I can do to make data collection harder helps.

      2. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: The reckoning will come ..

        "Just like FB - their system, their terms. If you don't like the terms, don't use it."

        I don't, but they still have a bunch of stuff on their system about me and have been spamming various email addresses of mine for over a decade trying to get me to setup an account.

        Supposedly the only way to stop the spam is... to setup an account and set it to "don't bug me" - but having done that on a lesser-used account they were spamming I can assure the great unwashed that they don't respect that setting.

        The sooner they die (horribly), the better.

        1. Steve 114

          Re: The reckoning will come ..

          10 years after retirement and never having been on it, I still get (triple) 'invitations' from youngsters who I know wouldn't want to embarrass themselves. Seems it just raids their address book. Treat as malware, I tell them.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The reckoning will come ..

            It only rifles through your address book IF you let it.

            I don't.

            1. Danny 14

              Re: The reckoning will come ..

              I added them to our domain 'reject with advice' list. As they would not stop spamming our users. They do not have an effecive 'opt out and do not call'

            2. Sleep deprived

              Re: The reckoning will come ..

              This opting out must be well hidden because I keep getting automatic invites from friends with whom I have no business relations, just outdoor activities. And I don't have a LinkedIn account either, so my respect for LinkedIn is now on par with Facebook's and I treat it as spam. I also warn these friends about their foolishness.

  7. David Roberts

    Does this mean Unicorns.....

    ......really don't exist?

  8. Elmer Phud

    If Linkedin goes under . . .

    . . . how long will it be before I stop getting emails asking me to link to others? (not that I have a Linkedin account, anyway).

    1. jMcPhee

      Re: If Linkedin goes under . . .

      You'll see them for quite a while. They are not a 'job based social media' company as much as a 'job based spamming and annoyance service'.

      Whenever I think about linkedin, this SftWS comes to mind:

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: If Linkedin goes under . . .

      I have always assumed Linkedin is some sort of on-line game where players score points through the number of other people suckered in.

      Every time I receive another spammy invite I wish someone would nuke it from space.

  9. Ali Um Bongo

    Job-Based Social Media Company LinkedIn"

    Oh. It's that what it's for?

    A while back, when on the point of leaving my then job, I set up a LinkedIn profile, as a mate who'd recently changed jobs himself said that a lot of employers these days look at the LinkedIn profile of prospective candidates.

    From what I've gathered on the few visits to the site I've made since, LinkedIn seems to be a bit like FacePuke in that you add as 'connections' anyone you've ever nodded to in passing, in the canteen, anywhere you've ever worked.

    Having thus built up a 'collection of connections' numerous enough to demonstrate to future employees that some remunerable use for you has been found in the past... er... well, that's it really. That's all it seems to be for. Unlike FacePuke there's no expectation that you 'interact' with the heads in your trophy cabinet in any way so, as far as LinkedIn is concerned —that's you done.

    LinkedIn is also a bit like Twatter in that; after signing up, you will continue, ever after, to receive emails from them trying to tempt you back to the site with the news that someone you've never heard of has published an article about something you've no interest in and didn't actually know existed. I think this is where the monetisation angle comes in because these emails also invite you to a free 30 day trial of LinkedIn Pro which, I believe allows access to even more irrelevant and boring articles, in return for hard cash.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Job-Based Social Media Company LinkedIn"

      Yes, Ali Um Bongo, it is an IT MetaDataBase Mine of Future Derivative Source[s]. And a hell of a surefire weapon for safe test firing ..... in SMARTR Hands, Hearts and Minds ...... Advanced Turing Virtual Machines with Super Sublime Programming Programs Servering True Source for Immaculate Direction with Media Capture, Strip and Search Discovery of Future Memes for Recovery AIDeployment.

      A sensible precaution and mutually beneficial arrangement when all things can be changed in an instant. And surely most assuring to partnering investors, private pirates and public heroes alike. Does IT not tell you that AI is offering All, Live Operational Virtual Environment Commands and Controls?

      What Guarantee do you have of urFutures ..... for there are always Derivative Ventures to Explore and Expand into?

      1. Ali Um Bongo

        Re: Job-Based Social Media Company LinkedIn"

        *"...Yes, Ali Um Bongo..."*

        Wow! –I got name-checked and weirded at by amanfromMars. I'm not sure whether to feel honoured or worried that the ROTM vanguard is onto me.

        [Maybe I should add it to my LinkedIn profile]

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Job-Based Social Media Company LinkedIn"

      you add as 'connections' anyone you've ever nodded to in passing, in the canteen, anywhere you've ever worked.

      If you so choose. Personally I'm selective, in the manner of Mr Dabbs, although being totally unfamous I get far fewer weirdo requests.

  10. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Really, I mean really

    How can companies like this be "worth" so much?

    Tim? You are sorely missed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tim? You are sorely missed.

      He's still out there. Just not here.

    2. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: Really, I mean really

      Tim still has his blog/homepage, with links to his stuff on other outlets like the odd FT article.

      Just ask the search engine of your choice for Tim Worstall.

      The passphrase is 'Adam Smith sent me'.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    400 million people. All looking for jobs.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: LinkedIn...

      400 million and 1 (not looking for a job)

      I joined some time ago because an associate said I should, and almost never visit the site. I get occasional job offers but really am not the slightest bit interested.


      Actually I don't 'get' social media at all.

      1. JeffyPoooh

        Re: LinkedIn...

        WG "Actually I don't 'get' social media at all."

        Comment forums (like this one) are absolutely in the category of social media.

        So, er, hello there.

        This particular example seems to attract a fairly intelligent crowd with a huge range of expertise. Makes it a bit different than many others.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: LinkedIn...

          I think this one is in the forefront of the new category of anti-social media

        2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: LinkedIn...


          Exactly! Like ArsTechnica, this doesn't seem like 'social media' (TM) more like a bunch of mates having a discussion with a bit of humour thrown in occasionally.

        3. DN4

          Re: LinkedIn...

          > Comment forums (like this one) are absolutely in the category of social media.

          This would mean the moment a comment section is added somewhere, new ‘social medium’ arises. Which is ridiculously broad. You lose all the important distinctions between actual social media and ‘anything on-line and not completely static’.

  12. Mikel

    400 million on the ladder

    All of them rungs, none of them know.

  13. JeffyPoooh

    What time is it at LinkedIn?

    What time is it at LinkedIn?

    *12:00", "12:00", "12:00", "12:00", "12:00", ...

  14. jake Silver badge

    So I guess ...

    ... Tulip bulbs aren't really worth all that much after all?


    1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

      Re: So I guess ...

      Still, a pretty flower can cheer you up on a bad day.

      So stop and smell the tulips.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @allthecoolshortnamesweretaken (was:Re: So I guess ...)

        "So stop and smell the tulips."

        Why? Tulips don't have much scent.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So I guess ...

      Psst, want to buy some credit default swaps.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    The uses of LinkedIn ..

    To see who else is looking you up ...


    "pudding here. Butterscotch pudding on Mondays, it's dreadful."

    1. alexmcm

      Re: The uses of LinkedIn ..

      I used linkedIn as another Friends Reunited. You could look up old school acquaintances and see what hyped up job titles they were giving themselves these days.

      But then I started seeing the downside, that LinkedIn reports to the other person you have looked at their profile and then asks them if they know you , and would they like to link to you etc. I have no interest in 'linking' to them, I just wanted to see if they were in prison yet.

      1. Danny 14

        Re: The uses of LinkedIn ..

        I did the same but used I dont log into hotmail unless im verifying another site i need temporary access to.

        Doesnt stop them from spamming my REAL email (because someone else recommended me at some time)

  16. Electric Panda

    The big problem is that most recruiters on LinkedIn claim to have read your profile, but actually haven't.

    My profile might contain my experience as a train driver (that's not what I do, but take it as an example). I say "No more train driver roles, please. I'm bored of being a train driver and I want to branch out into train maintenance".

    10 messages a day offering me train driver jobs identical to the one I'm currently doing. They have a "great client" lined up and this is "a great opportunity for someone with my skillset". This message has been sent to maybe 50 other train drivers hoping someone will bite. A colleague of mine received an identical message from the same person an hour after I did.

  17. Sub 20 Pilot

    Waste of space

    I signed up with that lot years ago and would have got a pro subscription as it would have been worth while to actually have my professional details there for prospective clients and contacts.

    Their useless location procedures would only recognise part of a postcode which located me not only 70 miles away from where I am based geographically but in a different country ( England not Wales.)

    I contacted them and explained the situation and told them I could provide an actual address which would have at least listed the town I live in. They were not interested and couldn't see the problem, even when I asked them if they would be happy to pay for a professional service relating to their potential employment that said the were based in Cuba or Canada and not the US.

    They couldn't be arsed to answer that so I never went back to them and assumed they were only interested in flinging ads and other such crap at me with no relevance to what I wanted. People like that deserve to fail.

  18. Mystic Megabyte


    In my world all Linkedin invites go straight to the spam folder.

  19. SquidEmperor

    It's just a business tool

    Meh - I have a LinkedIn Account and I've often found it useful for work related activities; including finding a job, getting to know possible employers and clients, and generally creating a business profile. Used sensibly it's a useful tool. I get annoyed by the spam-like emails, the users who mistake it for FaceBook and the clueless who post/invite/whatever - but the noise to data ratio on LinkedIn is not better or no worse than other social media sites IMHO. Whether it's worth more or less than whatever its valued at today I have no idea, but it's pointless in my view slamming a tool (the site) when as a tool it's only as good as the person(s) wielding it.

  20. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    As Are All Business Tools .... and Real Spooky Key Stuff

    Quite so, SquidEmperor. LinkedIn is an Intellectual Property Mine with all manner of Premium Grade Prospectors in the Novel Art of Virtual Travel to Heavenly Destinations, Offering Sustainable Services with Immaculate IMProVision.

    And such is AISourcedD and worthy of Terrestrial SuperVisionary Support, which will be Adopted and Nurtured to Full Virtual Reality Supply of Future AIdDVentures........ Future Leading Media Mogul Presentations with BroadBandCasting of Innovative Creative Programs is a Quantum Leap Drive with Attendant Drivers.

    cc James Murdoch, Sky chairman

  21. MarkSitkowski

    What Jobs?

    I joined Linkedin about four years ago, so I could join in the technical discussions and, possibly, learn something. Never occurred to me to use it to find a job.

    Since then, the technical discussions have been strangled by the Linkedin Gestapo, which deletes any post containing a web address or product name - even if the post answers a question, like 'Does anyone know where I can get a good network monitor?'.

    The technical articles have been strangled by Linkedin's sudden arbitrary limit of 1000 words per post, which paves the way for articles to be replaced by links to self-serving marketing handouts.

    There's also the rising plague of links to 'webinars' - most of which occur at 3am, and all of which expect that you have up to two hours to waste, listening to commercial drivel.

    I'm not surprised their investors are disillusioned with the site's performance, since it appears to have thrown away the only reasons why people joined it, back then.

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