It has been discussed and debated to death in the week prior to the official announcement: the fact that Internet giant Yahoo had plans on getting the rapidly-burgeoning social blogging platform Tumblr. It has received very mixed reactions, many of the users on the site itself protesting the very act, to the point that they have created a petition against it. But in spite all of their efforts, it’s finally official: Tumblr has been bought by Yahoo for 1.1 billion dollars.
The world of Tumblr
For years, Tumblr has been the “undercover” site. In the face of big communities like Facebook, Livejournal, and Twitter, Tumblr users go to the site to indulge in their own private, anonymous worlds.
According to online surveys of social networking sites, unlike in the other large sites, Tumblr users prefer their anonymity. Tumblr is the blog site that they go to in order to indulge in their “fandoms” and to participate in a community that shares their common interests. Interests range in wide diversity, going from food to photography, to television and movies, and many times interconnecting in between. Tumblr users have the option to “reblog” whatever they find interesting or funny.
Tumblr’s users could spend hours and hours on their dashboards (in spite of recent reports where Tumblr CEO David Karp, says that the users spend only fifteen minutes on average—the comment then quickly became a running joke among users), and the site staff had steadily developed their mobile apps so that users can continue blogging even through their business phone or tablets.
Is Tumblr’s “culture” in danger?
Over the years, it had built up a reputation as the source of huge online movements as well as rapidly growing support and awareness of LGBT rights. It even propagates arts and artisans, as Karp had always intended. Tumblr is, in its very essence, a community of artists. And the users fear that this culture that they have been so accustomed to, impossible to find in other blogging platforms, would be threatened by the Yahoo buy out.
Tumblr’s users are a very driven community, highly emotional, and they received the buyout news with expressions of horror and concerns over what the corporate giant like Yahoo would do to their home base. They feared ads mid-dashboard, censorship, and a change in the overall interface. But as it turns out, they really had nothing to worry about.
Marissa Mayer’s and the Tumblr staff’s official statement
All the rage and panic in Tumblr’s dashboards were not lost to the Tumblr staff or Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s new (and slightly infamous) CEO. As the buyout became official in spite of the users’ protests and petitions, Marissa Mayer posted in her own Tumblog an official announcement about Yahoo’s acquisition of the site.
Mayer first and foremost states that Yahoo promises to “not screw it up”. Mayer adds that she fully intends Tumblr to run and operate independently, with David Karp retaining his position as CEO. Nothing in Tumblr’s interface and overall world will change apart from who legally owns the site on paper.
In Tumblr’s own staff blog, David Karp issued his own statement. He says that the buyout from Yahoo will mean only good things for Tumblr’s world. The site would be able to grow faster and better thanks to the resources from Yahoo, and that the buyout will in no way compromise the environment users have grown to love.
So, peace on Tumblr, for the time being. All that remains to be seen is the new improvements and changes that this change in ownership could really bring.
What are your thoughts on the buyout ? Do you have any blogs on Tumblr ?