Yahoo! Buys Tumblr in Biggest Gamble Since Geocities

This week Yahoo is trying to make a comeback as they have been seeing a gradual decline in recent years. On Monday it became official that the major search engine has purchased the blogging-service Tumblr for $1.1 billion. In comparison with other monster companies Facebook purchased Instagram last year for $1 billion and Google purchased YouTube for $1.6 billion in 2006.

So what happens to these companies when they’re purchased? Advertisements. Sales. Clutter. Those things that take up your sidebar and even interrupt the middle of your computer or mobile screen when all you want to do is look at comments and posts your friends wrote or took pictures of. Chief Executive of Yahoo Marissa Mayer who decided on the acquisition has now put in for a long-shot/long-term result process. Although the combination of the two powerhouses will be an immediate plus in numbers for Yahoo in terms of visitors and demographics, there are many concerns already rising.

Yahoo has made it clear that they don’t want to ruin the functionality that Tumblr has already, but there are worries of Yahoo’s influence transforming the site into a more corporate and straight-edge version compared to its original purpose of individuality per each blogger. There is also concern over the previously existing content and image of the site. In 2009 Tumblr was almost 80% adult related content and gave it a particular reputation that still lingers. Now they’ve minimized that content to about 5%. But what about when Yahoo decides to “ramp up” Tumblr’s dashboard? Will it become the next Facebook with endless advertising that consumers argue about every time there’s a new update that resets your settings and spams your homepage with ads? Tumblr was started by a guy, David Karp, after he dropped out of high school for the preference of home schooling and wanted a new, uninhibited way to share what interests him and others. Wasn’t that a similar aim of what Zuckerberg was going for? What kind of future does Tumblr have to look forward to and what sort of pattern might we be seeing for all social media platforms these days?

Yahoo doesn’t have the greatest track record for big purchases, as seen by its failed purchase of Geocities for $3 billion. Maybe Mayer has a new strategy and understanding of the relationship between social media and general media. The coming months will tell if her gut feeling was the right one.

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