Yahoo Acquires Tumblr: Initial Reactions From Around the Web

Key players in the tech and business worlds weigh in on Yahoo's latest acquisition

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Robert Galbraith / REUTERS

The Yahoo logo at the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif., on April 16, 2013.

Tumblr seemed to be playing hard-to-get for a little while, but no longer: Yahoo has approved a $1.1 billion deal to purchase the hip social-blogging platform. According to All Things D, the tech giant’s board unanimously approved the all-cash deal on Sunday, although it won’t be officially announced until Monday. In the meantime, the news is, of course, making the rounds on the Web, and plenty of key players in the tech and business worlds are already weighing in. Here are some initial reactions:

(MORE: Can Google Star Marissa Mayer Save Yahoo?)

Hell no, they won’t go:

Tumblr’s users are almost universally unhappy … Do a search on Tumblr for Yahoo, and you get a stream of distress, interspersed with the occasional bit of helpless resignation and some calls for activism. The voices of reluctant acceptance [usually because of the aforementioned cash situation] or anything like positivity are few and far between. No outright enthusiasm. (TechCrunch)

Silver lining:

Billion-dollar question:

[Yahoo’s] last earnings report in April showed that Yahoo still has a ways to go to bring in advertising. Yahoo’s $1.07 billion revenue for the first quarter missed the very modest 2% bump that analysts had expected. Display advertising and search revenue were all down … Tumblr may transform Yahoo’s reputation among hipsters, but will Yahoo still need help on the crucial revenue front? (Quartz)

Yahoo’s curse:

Tumblr users, from here on out, will blame every site change on Yahoo, in the same way that Instagram users assume every new app update came straight from the desk of [Mark] Zuckerberg. But Instagram users know what Facebook is, and why they don’t want Instagram to become more like it … Yahoo, to young people, is a nearly blank slate. This is its curse, and probably not its salvation. (BuzzFeed)

Important inquiry:

Not so bad after all:

Marissa Mayer is perfectly positioned to give Tumblr CEO David Karp what he wants … Mayer is perfectly able to spend a billion dollars on Tumblr and allow Karp to keep running it relatively ad-free. This in turn, should keep Tumblr growing, since users hate ads. (Business Insider)

JessKateCoupland 1 Like

The fact is that Tumblr is it's own secret world to most users and with Yahoo in charge of it, most users are worried it will just become the next Facebook. Yahoo owning Tumblr is like your grandfather suddenly running your life, it just doesn't work together. What Yahoo hope to gain from owning Tumblr is pretty unclear to me, since the whole appeal is young people in a world where adults have no say, which Karp understood and managed to hold the balance well, where Yahoo; in the eyes of Tumblr users, will try to change what Tumblr is. They will change it from the fun, open world, into something with pointless plugins and someone watching everything they do. This was a bad move on the part of Yahoo, they will never be accepted by Tumblr and to succeed, they need Tumblr users support. Any plans to change that they have tried to use to appeal to Tumblr users have met open disapproval as they will not actually benefit the average Tumblr blogger.