This morning, Yahoo announced it was buying Tumblr for $US1.1 billion, along with a GIF and a promise “not to screw it up”. The Mayer-ship is hosting a “product-related” event in New York City today. We’ll be there covering it live. But just what’s the company talking about?
Here’s what we’ve heard so far:
More Changes to Flickr?
According to Bloomberg sources, Yahoo is going to show some updates to Flickr. In the context of Yahoo’s Tumblr news, the timing is interesting. Flickr was one Yahoo acquisition that didn’t exactly go right. Although since Marissa Mayer took the helm at Yahoo, the company has paid more attention to the photo sharing service, updating its iOS app for the first time in years. Tonight might be another stop on the Flickr redemption tour, and a chance to say that just because Yahoo just spent more than a billion bucks on a shiny new toy, doesn’t mean it’s leaving its old dusty plaything forgotten in the corner.
Or are we talking Tumblr?
Even though Yahoo broke the news about buying Tumblr this morning, we might actually hear a little bit about what that means in concrete terms. For the most part, Yahoo says it’s not going to mess with Tumblr. “We want to let Tumblr be Tumblr,” Mayer said this morning. Although she also confirmed that Tumblr is getting more ads. And there are some clear needs for improvement that Yahoo might be able to help with, including Yahoo-powered web search, and cleaning out some of the self-harm, porn and eating disorder business. But it seems to be more about how Tumblr can help Yahoo. Presumably there will be a lot more content across Yahoo properties generated by Tumblr users. Tweets just recently started showing up on the Yahoo homepage, and Tumblr posts are not far behind, Mayer said.
Yahoo’s corporate blog has already moved over to Tumblr, and Mayer has set up her own personal Tumblr. It’s an effort on Yahoo’s part to resonate with a younger set, as if to say hey look, we’re cool! We know what GIFs are too! And it could also signal a shift to a more transparent way of communication from Yahoo in the future. It’s safe to assume we’ll get a better look at how things will merge in practical terms this evening.
Or a little of both?
A great thing about Tumblr is the ease with it lets you share photosets, and a good portion of the posts you see on the platform are image-focused. Integrating Flickr with Tumblr to provide storage for all your photo needs would be really powerful, incredibly convenient, and really just a logical partnership. Plus, herein lies a chance for Yahoo to use its newest, unproven acquisition to improve an old, messed up purchase.
Or a wildcard?
There’s always a chance Mayer and her team have something unexpected planned. Most of the rumours strongly suggest Yahoo will at least touch on the Tumblr grab. Whatever the case, we’ll be at the event live starting at 5pm EST (7am AEST) with all the details.