Like a kid trying to convince their parents that the garish trainers in the shop are definitely the ones they want, and that they won’t get bored/change their mind in twenty-five seconds, Marissa Meyer had to convince the Yahoo board that buying Tumblr is the way forward.
And it appears she pulled it off. Yahoo has confirmed a $1.1 billion (£725 million) cash deal to take over Tumblr and bring the social media site into the Yahoo family. It marks Meyer’s most significant deal since taking over as Yahoo CEO and is likely a savvy play to access younger, newer markets.
But what does it mean for folks like you who are sat browsing Tumblr on your iPhone or filling your commute with a tablet of Tumblr faves? We’re not saying anyone’s going to sell iPhone or other smart devices if the Tumblr/Yahoo deal doesn’t work out, but let’s look at it for a second. Tumblr is a runaway success on the mobile smart device market, can Yahoo help it stick?
According to US media, Tumblr will continue to function as an independent company with founder David Karp at the helm. Tumblr’s massive global following is very much based on mobile devices and encourages up-to-the-second update formats and mobile reading. Tumblr can sell mobile use so well thanks largely to the semi-blog/social media/image-friendly layout that made it a hit not long after its launch in 2007.
Yahoo’s role will likely be one of mentorship, although last year’s introduction of paid ads on Tumblr means we could see a marked increase in advertising once Yahoo takes the reins. This is a point of much contention for Tumblr, who have so far managed to keep adverts to a minimum. Experts believe Tumblr needs to remain “pure” in order to sell mobile use – reducing browsing joy with heaps of ads would be a mistake, and it’s unlikely Yahoo would miss that.