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Yahoo! Businesses The Almighty Buck

Yahoo Pinkie-Swears It Won't Ruin Tumblr 162

Nerval's Lobster writes "Yahoo has agreed to acquire Tumblr for $1.1 billion. As you know, Yahoo is a major corporation with a need to monetize its assets in a way that makes its shareholders happy, leaving open the question of whether it'll alter Tumblr's DNA in order to make the latter more of a significant cash generator. But at least for the moment, Yahoo seems content to leave its new property alone. 'Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business,' read the company's press release. 'The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators.' Tumblr CEO David Karp, who has been known to make some very anti-advertising comments in the past, will remain in place. Even so, anyone who likes Tumblr may have some cause for concern, because Yahoo has a history of making high-profile acquisitions that subsequently implode. Back in 1999, for example, it paid over $3 billion for GeoCities, another blogging network that it eventually shut down after years of failing the update the property. In 2005, it acquired popular photo-sharing Website Flickr, which it likewise allowed to languish and die. That same year it bought Delicious, a popular Webpage-bookmarking site, and did exactly nothing with it. So when Yahoo starts off its Tumblr press release with a promise not to screw things up, it's a self-deprecating nod toward all that history. New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has been on a bit of a buying spree of late, snatching up startups such as Summly in an attempt to make her company 'cool' and relevant."
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Yahoo Pinkie-Swears It Won't Ruin Tumblr

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  • by intermodal ( 534361 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @11:07AM (#43773533) Homepage Journal

    That this article suggests GeoCities was a blogging network tells me this was written by someone who never visited sites hosted by GeoCities.

    Really though, Y! has a horrible track record. The question is, will enough users stay to keep it viable? Will they trust Y! enough to keep putting their efforts as users into the site?

  • The only thing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 20, 2013 @11:19AM (#43773629)

    ...that anyone really cares about: will there still be porn?

  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @11:28AM (#43773725) Homepage Journal

    Registered users. Many of whom with real and pretty accurate personal profiles.


    I'd not really heard of Tumblr before, and went to their site, and to even get in and find out WTF the site is about, they seem to insist on you setting up an account with email.

    So, I didn't get to see what Tumblr is or what it is about.

    I've not seen a site before, that requires an account to even get far enough to find a FAQ or anything to find out if you WANT to join.

    Are so many people willing to just give out their information at less than a drop of a hat these days?

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @11:35AM (#43773785)

    "whether it'll alter Tumblr's DNA in order to make the latter more of a significant cash generator"

    Perhaps they could first make Yahoo a significant cash generator, and when they have a proven method for that, THEN apply it to Tumblr and other properties.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Monday May 20, 2013 @11:48AM (#43773891) Journal
    Once customers get used to getting something for free or close to free, they are not going to pay more, no matter what. All these VC's paying customers to use their product for free is setting up the mentality. When they stop subsidizing it, it founders.

    I see mundane things in bed bath and beyond, 12$ for the shower curtain or 250$ for a window treatment kit. People just shrug and pay. The very same people pick a flight that is 10$ cheaper but needs an additional stop and 3 more hours. All the price maximizing optimizing strategies by the airlines have created a sense that" my fellow passenger probably paid 10$ less for the very same ticket" and that changes the way people shop and decide. All these social networks are going to find it difficult to make money off their users.

    In a country like India where piracy is rampant and no one wants to pay anything for any kind of music, video, movie or software, the telephone ringtones are raking in several hundred million dollars to the phone companies. So how users arrive at a consensus fair price is a very difficult thing to understand or predict.

  • Despite all of the replies to you mumbling about porn, Tumblr's main draw is that it's a social base of somewhat technically literate, creatively-oriented people, mostly teenagers. They view it as an escape from Facebook's social ills. It combines some of the features of Twitter ("reblogging" things and making them appear in your feed) with richer post style controls, more like LiveJournal. In fact, it might be rather appropriate to call it LiveJournal for millennials. There's generally more emphasis on image-based communication, and a lot of the same meme-spamming you'd expect to find on a site like 4chan or Reddit, but in general the atmosphere is a little more positive and accepting than other popular social sites.

"To take a significant step forward, you must make a series of finite improvements." -- Donald J. Atwood, General Motors