Yahoo! acquires Tumblr and promises to ‘not screw it up’

Internet giant Yahoo! has continued with its big spending acquisition activity by buying blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion.

Internet giant Yahoo! has continued with its big spending acquisition activity by buying blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion.

Blogging service Tumblr will continue to be run independently, and by founder and CEO David Karp, despite being acquired by Yahoo!.

The acquisition, which is worth $1.1 billion (£724 million), follows on from the recent purchases of UK news aggregating service Summly for $30 million and automated personal assistant business Todoroo (Astrid).

Having hired new CEO Marissa Mayer in July 2012, Yahoo! has embarked on a mission to build out its social media and mobile presence.

New acquisition Tumblr was set up by Karp in 2006 and launched in 2007, attracting 75,000 users in two weeks. In 2012 it moved towards paid advertising on its site and signed a deal with Adidas.

In reaction to complaints, and a petition, from Tumblr users against the purchase, Mayer says that Yahoo! will ‘not screw it up’.

She comments, ‘Tumblr is incredibly special and ha a great thing going. The product roadmap, their team, their wit and irreverence will all remain the same as will their mission to empower creators to make their bets work and get it in front of the audience they deserve.’

Tumblr currently hosts 105 million blogs, and has 300 million monthly unique users and 120,000 signups each day. According to reports from Yahoo!, it also has 900 posts a second and 24 billion minutes spent onsite every month.

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Yahoo! predicts that by acquiring Tumblr it could increase its audience by 50 per cent, to a billion monthly visitors, and grow traffic by 20 per cent.

Mayer adds, ‘In terms of working together, Tumblr can deploy Yahoo!’s personalisation technology and search infrastructure to help its users discover creators, bloggers and content they’ll love.

‘In turn, Tumblr brings 50 million blog posts (and 75 million more arrive 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.’

Commenting on the deal, Karp says, ‘We’re elated to have the support of Yahoo! and their team who share our dream to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas. Tumblr gets better faster with more resources to draw from.’

In March, young British entrepreneur Nick D’Aloisio has sold his Summly app to Yahoo! and joined the American business.

Summly, which was created by D’Aloisio at his home in London when he was 15, aggregates news by providing ‘snapshots’ of stories for use on smartphone devices such as the iPhone. D’Aloisio first taught himself to code when he was 12.

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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