I'll Tumbl For You
Chief Yahoo Marissa Mayer looked pretty damn chipper as she took the stage in a small room overlooking Times Square, late yesterday afternoon.
Technically, the press had gathered for the announcement of a revamped Flickr. (It’s biggr! It’s spectaculr!) An entire lounge had been papered over with giant images pulled from the service, and in the square below a mob of T-shirt-wearing fans/paid actors were jumping up and down and hollering and waving Flickr signs in celebration.
But with David Karp slouched in the front row, it was clear this was about more than the addition of full-bleed photos to a decade-old service. Read More
In Pride and Prejudice, before achieving her happy ending with Mr. Darcy, Lizzie Bennett receives a marriage proposal from Mr. Collins, a toadying little man who offers a lifetime of a) stability and b) teeth-grinding annoyance. She turns him down, and her friend Charlotte promptly snaps him up. A 27-year-old woman of limited means in 18th century England, she’s realistic about her options and grabs her best bet with both hands.
Let’s not kid ourselves that Yahoo! is anything other than a Mr. Collins. Read More
The official announcement just hit the newswires. Yahoo has acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion, “substantially all of which is payable in cash.” Because really, who wants to bet on the stability of Yahoo’s stock price?
In the press release, CEO Marissa Mayer tries desperately to explain the acquisition in any way she can besides admitting Yahoo wants to drink the blood of the young: “Yahoo is the Internet’s original media network. Tumblr is the Internet’s fastest-growing media frenzy. Both companies are homes for brands – established and emerging.” Read More
Here we go, folks! The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Yahoo’s board has approved a rumored deal to purchase Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash money. Forbes reports Tumblr’s board, which includes reps from Union Square Ventures, Sequoia Capital and others, has already voted to approve the deal. If it’s true that the company has only a few months of runway left, they’d be fools not to.
It’s a happy enough ending for Tumblr’s investors (and employees lucky enough to have a significant amount of stock), sure, but it’s not exactly the stirring success story the New York startup scene might’ve wished for. (A YouTube’s nice, but a Google would be better.) Yahoo’s got a long history of snapping up startups and frittering away their potential, and $1.1 billion must dash a few hopes for Silicon Alley’s flagship. The company only made $13 million in revenue last year, but as of March it had 117 million unique users worldwide. Read More
Looks like there might be a suitor waiting in the wings for Tumblr, that scatterbrained belle of the ball. He’s a real gray-hair, though. According to AllThingsD, the blogging site is talking to Yahoo about the possibilities for an alliance, an investment or even a lock-stock-and-barrel purchase. Ad Week says the highly hypothetical price tag could be as much as a billion dollars.
At this point, it might be easier to keep a list of the startups Yahoo hasn’t considered acquiring. Read More
Remember that poignant note from Tumblr founder David Karp about the elimination of its in-house editorial department Storyboard? You know, the memo in which Mr. Karp supposedly said he “couldn’t be happier” with the team, listed their accomplishments, and, instead of giving them a raise, fired them. Read More
Sounds like it’s a big day for the little GIF engine that could. Business Insider reports that Tumblr has a board meeting this afternoon. On the agenda: sorting through COO candidates, plus a chat about revenue and maybe even hitting up the VC ATM for more investment.
Business Insider reports there are two final candidates in the running for the position of COO, and board member Roelof Botha is meeting with one of them this morning so the team can discuss. For what it’s worth, Mr. Botha: seems like almost anyone who considers profitability an important metric would be a valuable addition. Read More
Fire up your Tumblr mobile app this afternoon, and you’ll notice something new in the river of posts flowing through your dashboard. Scroll through and for the first time, you’ll see advertising mixed in with the #RHOA GIFs and nail art.
Ad Age reports that starting today, the profit-seeking startup is rolling out sponsored posts in the prime real estate of users’ streams, though only on mobile apps. Launch partners include G.E., Warner Bros. and ABC, and at most you’ll see four per day, identified with a little dollar sign. Read More
Earlier this week, Tumblr CEO David Karp took the stage at PaidContent Live for a panel called “Tumblr and the Future of Media.” It was a poignant title considering that one of the topics discussed was Mr. Karp’s recent, rather brusque blog post announcing the end of Storyboard, a high-profile editorial experiment that hired journalists to write features or film documentary video about Tumblr’s community of “creators.”
For example, this Storyboard piece about a photojournalist documenting a gang truce in El Salvador (on his Tumblr) was published by Mother Jones. One about activists and feminists using nail art (and the growing subculture on Tumblr) was produced in partnership with the Daily Beast. Read More