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Yahoo! Buys Tumblr, Promises 'Not to Screw It Up'


Yahoo! officially announced its $1.1 billion cash acquisition of Tumblr this morning, with the above gif and a blog post from Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer.

TIME writes:

Tumblr users have good reason to be apprehensive, because Yahoo’s track record with acquisitions has been decidedly mixed. Remember GeoCities or Even Flickr, the photo-sharing site Yahoo purchased in 2005, has languished in the shadow of upstarts like Instagram, which was purchased by Facebook last year for $1 billion in cash and stock.

Wrote Mayer: Mayer

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...

...In terms of working together, Tumblr can deploy Yahoo!’s personalization technology and search infrastructure to help its users discover creators, bloggers, and content they’ll love.  In turn, Tumblr brings 50 billion blog posts (and 75 million more arriving each day) to Yahoo!’s media network and search experiences.  The two companies will also work together to create advertising opportunities that are seamless and enhance user experience.

Tumblr CEO David Karp says "f**k yeah" to the deal in a post on his 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.

Yahoo is the original Internet company, and Marissa and her team share our dream to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas. I couldn’t be more excited to have her help. We also share a vision for Tumblr’s business that doesn’t compromise the community and product we love. Plus both our logos end with punctuation!

As always, everything that Tumblr is, we owe to this unbelievable community. We won’t let you down.

Karp, who owns 25%, is set to pocket $275 million.

UPDATE: From a live blog of Yahoo's press conference this morning:

Mayer says that Yahoo released "Yahoo Stream Ads" in May, which take text ads and put them in the news stream on She says you can expect more of that on Tumblr. On Tumblr, there is the dashboard, which is like Facebook's News Feed or inbox. Today, Tumblr does some advertising there. Yahoo would like to "introduce a very light ad load" there.  Yahoo also might work with some bloggers who want ads on their blogs. That would only be done with permission.

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  1. Can I be forgiven for not having any idea what a "Tumblr" is?

    Posted by: Butch | May 20, 2013 9:46:43 AM

  2. Thank God that phony b*tch isn't my boss. She's done some horrific things at Yahoo.

    OF COURSE they'll screw it up.

    Posted by: ratbastard | May 20, 2013 10:01:02 AM

  3. Of course they will screw it up.

    Posted by: jonny | May 20, 2013 10:01:05 AM

  4. So dicks will still be on Tumblr?

    Posted by: Sylvatica | May 20, 2013 10:10:10 AM

  5. Well... just as I start using Tumblr, it's time to leave Tumblr before Yahoo, Geocities' it into oblivion.

    Posted by: Polyboy | May 20, 2013 10:11:04 AM

  6. I worked for HotJobs when yahoo bought it. Things will be largely unchanged for about 6 months while Yahoo figures out exactly what they bought and how they can cannibalize it to suit Yahoo... Then massive layoffs, user exodus, then ultimately Tumblr will tumble into oblivion.

    This time next year, the only place you'll be able to find Tumblr is in the Google archives.

    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | May 20, 2013 10:27:00 AM

  7. The Internet abhors free porn, apparently.

    "We won't change a thing" is corporate lingo for "We are sharpening our claws as we speak".

    Posted by: anon | May 20, 2013 12:08:30 PM

  8. Plus the CEO just made a quarter of a bill

    Posted by: rick scatorum | May 20, 2013 1:38:47 PM

  9. They better not touch my porn.

    Posted by: Derrick | May 20, 2013 3:04:25 PM

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