Yahoo!’s Tumblr purchase confirmed

By | Published on Tuesday 21 May 2013


As expected, Yahoo! yesterday announced that it had purchased blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion – less than a third of the $3.6 billion it paid for Geocities in 1999, which may or may not show that the company’s learned its lesson when it comes to overpaying for things. Another lesson users will be hoping it’s learned is to not buy popular websites and then run them into the ground. CEO Marissa Mayer yesterday said (not in quite so many words) that this was the case.

Announcing the purchase on Tumblr (how modern), Mayer said: “We promise not to screw it up. Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going. We will operate Tumblr independently. David Karp will remain CEO. The product roadmap, their team, their wit and irreverence will all remain the same as will their mission to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve. Yahoo! will help Tumblr get even better, faster”.

Karp added via Tumblr’s official blog: “Before touching on how awesome this is, let me try to allay any concerns: 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. So what’s new? Simply, Tumblr gets better faster. The work ahead of us remains the same – and we still have a long way to go! – but with more resources to draw from”.

While it’s very easy to be cynical about this story, Yahoo! does badly need a new success, and Tumblr needs help maintaining its recent impressive momentum, which may mean this alliance goes alright. Well, at least they didn’t feel the need to make up a job for a popstar as part of the new deal. Yet.