by JASMINE ELSHAMY Photo & Video Editor
Yahoo announced on Monday, May 20 that they would be buying the very popular blogging site, Tumblr, in a $1.1 billion deal. Doing so will allow Yahoo to become more appealing to the younger user base on the site.
Buying Tumblr is showing how the fading company is trying to reposition itself among the millions of people on the internet with social networking. The deal would be the largest acquisition of a social networking company in years, surpassing Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram last year.
CEO of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, made a bold move in buying the social network, trying to bring new life to the company. It is meant to give the company more appeal to the younger demographic, along with making up for the years of missed opportunities when it comes to mobile devices and social networks.
Despite its ranking as the 24th most viewed website on the Internet, according to Quantcast, Tumblr has yet to translate that into success on mobile devices, something Yahoo needs.
Still, many of the 108 million highly active blogs on Tumblr are concerned that Yahoo buying Tumblr will clutter the website with many annoying ads that until now has never been a worry on the site. Founder and CEO of Tumblr, 26-year-old David Karp has always resisted the use of traditional advertising on Tumblr to this point.
“I am worried about Yahoo buying Tumblr. Tumblr is my favorite social network, it opens my eyes to a lot of different art, stories, and people, and it allows me to express myself however I’d like. If Yahoo somehow screws this up, I’m totally deactivating my email from them and making a Gmail account,” says senior Sam Cicatello.
No worries though, faithful bloggers, for Mayer assured everyone that Tumblr would still be run as an independent business with Karp remaining in the position of CEO. There will be no Yahoo advertising on the site.
Even if it would be ideal to be able to advertise to so many young people on the site (young as in high school and college students), many advertisers do not appreciate some of the content that circulates through the site.
“Tumblr does not insist on knowing the real identities for users, and some of the Tumblr content is very adult-oriented, both features that advertisers would find repellant,” said Brian Proffitt, an adjunct instructor of management at the University of Notre Dame.
Nonetheless, Tumblr still is not the most profitable social network as many would think, no matter the huge, loyal fanbase that it has attracted. Because of this, Mayer will face pressure to keep Tumblr’s staff, led by its founder, Karp, who dropped out of high school as a 15-year-old programmer. It is unclear whether all of Tumblr’s 175 employees, based in New York City, will move over to Yahoo.
“I’m not too worried about Yahoo buying Tumblr, to be frank with you. Yahoo is smart, and they know better than to screw things up by messing up the website and driving away all of the users,” says senior Ahmed Halim. “And as for the advertisers who don’t appreciate the ‘adult content’? Tumblr would not have 108 million dedicated bloggers if it didn’t exist on the site.”