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Tumblr and Yahoo; Happily Ever After?

Have you ever seen a couple and you’re just like, “how about no?” Well, that’s what many are saying about the recent transaction between Yahoo and Tumblr. On May 19th, Yahoo bought Tumblr for a whopping 1.1 billion dollars and many people are not happy about it.

In case you aren’t too familiar with Tumblr, allow us to introduce you. Tumblr is a blogging site that allows users to upload text, pictures, videos, links, and gifs (short little clips on a loop). Users can also follow fellow bloggers which enables them to see their updates on a dashboard similar to a Facebook feed. With that being said, Tumblr has gained quite the following with having over 300 million unique visitors monthly; 120,000 daily sign ups; 900 posts per second; and over 24 billion minutes are spent monthly on the site. That’s a pretty big deal.

Now, most of us are familiar with Yahoo! for being a pioneer of “internetness” and getting in on the first floor of the interwebs (considering it’s been around since 1994); however, many people say whatever Yahoo! touches turns to dirt. Yahoo! has had many acquisitions over the years, at least 77 of them including Tumblr, and many that have failed miserably. Their buyout of Tumblr though, is most comparable to their GeoCities acquisition, and I bet you’ve never heard of GeoCities. Doesn’t sound so good for Tumblr, huh?

But why is this such a bad thing? Yahoo is still around and Tumblr has a faithful following, right? Well, as with most things on the internet, what can be here today may be gone tomorrow. As a matter of fact, in anticipation of the acquisition the previous weekend 72,000 users an hour went to WordPress as opposed to the measly 400 to 600 users that normally transfer their posts over.

So what do they know that we don’t? Let’s stop and think for a moment, why is this such a bad idea? You know, beside the fact it didn’t work with GeoCities before. I mean, Yahoo should know what works now and what doesn’t and hopefully has the ability to learn from their mistakes… right? Well, Tumblr has a very specific business model. Rumors have already started circulating around the internet about Yahoo!’s goals to make Tumblr more family and teen friendly, which is great and all, but because of the super mature and NSFW (not safe for work) content, this can deter many users. Another BIG deterrent may be Yahoo trying to police copyright materials on the blogging site. In other words, if mature content restrictions and copyright content restrictions are placed on this free medium, MANY users may go elsewhere.

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Another concern by many “Tumblrers” (and by most social network users) is ad placement. The last thing they want is their sanctuary infested with ads, but if Yahoo doesn’t bring in revenue, buying Tumblr will be a huge waste of money. According to reports, Tumblr only brought in 13 million last year which is a BIG gap in how much they were bought for, which can come back to bite them in the butt.

Although, there are many reasons to deter current users from continuing their Tumblr escapades, the buy alone was great publicity for the company which may in turn greatly benefit the site, propelling it to be the most amazing site in the history of amazing amazingness; but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t concerned. All we know is, we hope Yahoo doesn’t mess this one up because to some of us, Tumblr holds a very special place in our social media bubble.