Monday, May 20, 2013

Yahoo Purchases Tumblr

I have to admit that I don't know all that much about Tumblr. Aside from being a weird mix of micro-blogging and social networking, it just seems to me to be a site that middle-schoolers use before bedtime. It's often billed as a competitor to Instagram, but, even though their user base has been expanding, there have been a number of reports that Tumblr has been teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Now, with Yahoo's recent announcement that they've acquired Tumblr, it seems that the Tumblrsphere is up in arms and doesn't know what to expect. This is just pure speculation on my part, but here's my take on the situation:

What To Expect From Yahoo Buying Tumblr:

  • More ads: Tumblr was making around $15 million a year, and Yahoo acquired it for $1.1 billion. They're going to want to make that money back as quickly as possible and ad monetization is the most obvious way to start doing it.

  • No more Porn: Tumblr is notorious for attracting porn bloggers who host adult content and use referral links to paid-content sites to make money. Yahoo has a pretty strict policies against explicit content and is almost sure to enforce them on Tumblr despite saying that they'd run it as a separate entity. 

  • Cracking Down On Copyrighted Content: One of the big attractions of Tumblr is its ability to quickly re-blog something. Most of the time, that's done without permission or credit. There's no way Yahoo will allow this to continue, even though this is what accounts for most of Tumblr's content. 

  • Interface Tweaks: At the very least, you can expect a "Sign In To Tumblr via Yahoo!" button on your Tumblr dashboard to come along. Yahoo will obviously want to put its own spin on the Tumblr interface, but there's still some hope that they'll keep from totally ruining it. From what I have seen, Tumblr has an interface that is elegant in its simplicity, making it a perfect for use on your mobile device. Yahoo would do well not to screw that part up.

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