When the surprising news of the $1.1 billion Yahoo-Tumblr deal broke yesterday, Tumblr users set into a mild panic. With no update from their favorite blogging platform, users took to their Tumblrs to express their fear and make requests of David Karp, Tumblr founder and CEO:
Some users were so worried they began flocking to other blogging platforms. WordPress’ Co-Founder and CEO Matt Mullenweg blogged last night that WordPress was seeing a vast increase in the number of Tumblr imports into their site. Though WordPress normally sees between 400 and 600 Tumblr imports an hour, during the last hour on Sunday 72,000 Tumblrs were imported. That’s quite a spike.
Other users tried to look on the bright side:
Today Yahoo and Tumblr tried to ease worried fans. David Karp, Tumblr Founder and CEO, finally updated the Tumblr staff blog Monday morning, writing:
“We’re not turning purple. Our headquarters isn’t moving. Our team isn’t changing. Our roadmap isn’t changing. And our mission–to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve–certainly isn’t changing”
But what about ads? Tumblr is known for integrating only unobtrusive, relevant ads. With Yahoo’s acquisition, how might this practice chagne? Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer assured users that ads on Tumblr will remain relevant. “We are committed to continuing the experience the Tumblr community loves,” Mayer said, “where the ads are aspirational, where the ads are great content on themselves.”
Some users have already made requests of Yahoo and David Karp:
On Twitter the conversation has been more incredulous than worried. Many tweeted their doubts while pointing out the niche uses of Tumblr, wondering how Yahoo could possibly profit from acquiring the blogging site:
Yahoo not only bought Tumblr but also invented the time machine coz now it’s 1998 and something yahoo did is news.
— Tanmay Bhat (@thetanmay) May 20, 2013
Somebody just paid 1.1 billion for pictures of my dog sitting in a freezer. #tumblr
— Jenny Mollen (@jennyandteets) May 20, 2013
LOL Yahoo just paid 1.1 billion $ for the world’s largest collection of Doctor Who gifs and pictures of Benedict Cumberbatch #Tumblr
— Melanie Rowland (@MelRows) May 19, 2013
— Eugene Hsu (@heuge) May 19, 2013
For now it seems that Tumblr users have no choice but to trust that Yahoo has the integrity to preserve the clutter-free, close-knit community on Tumblr and perhaps bask in some future improvements. Matt Mullenweg made a great statement on his blog last night regarding the potential for Tumblr to grow through Yahoo:
“News like this, whether from a friend or a competitor, is always bittersweet: I’m curious to see what the creative folks behind Tumblr do with their new resources, both personal and corporate, but I’m more interested to know what they would have done over the next 5-10 years as an independent company. I think we’re at the cusp of understanding the ultimate value of web publishing platforms, particularly ones that work cross-domain, and while Yahoo’s all-cash deal by some metrics, like revenue, is very generous, I think it’s a tenth of the value that will be created in these platforms over the coming years.”
As Tumblr users, what do you think Yahoo has in store for Tumblr? Will they turn the platform into an evil advertising machine or will they make Tumblr an even better place to blog?