On Sunday, it was announced that Yahoo had finally reached an agreement to buy the popular social media platform Tumblr. Rumored since the beginning of May, the acquisition was made at 1.1 billion in cash. The deal is seen as being a part of a new push by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to update and advance the company that has been seen a lack a relevance in recent years. It is however a bold move for the company and shows the importance of creative social media.
For many Tumblr users, Yahoo has more to learn from Tumblr than vice versa. Users have been concerned though that with the purchase, changes will be made that alter the user experience. Mayer herself engaged users on Tumblr to relieve worries that changes will be made to the staff and that Tumblr will mostly work independently. It’s slated to be a smarter execution than the adjustments to the user experience and policy changes that confused users of Instagram after being acquired by Facebook. If Yahoo keeps that approach and doesn’t try to fix what isn’t broken, Tumblr will be a stronger asset.
There is the eventual implementation of advertisements that has users concerned. My hope is that if there is any kind of monetization that will occur within the website. Handled similar to the way in which Twitter developed sponsored tweets, or in Tumblr’s case sponsored posts. It’s a good modest form of advertisement that seems to have worked for Twitter and not irritate its users. Facebook, which over time has been unable to avoid conflict on this subject, is still trying to find proper footing in ad space. It’s a matter that hopefully will be handled delicately and slowly, but it has been done before without ruining the platform.
From what I’ve seen, Mayer gets it. She sees the importance of creative social media and how it’s supposed to work rather than just buying a name. One of the reasons this is such a smart decision by Mayer, is that Tumblr is driven by creative content and has a loyal and growing audience. Its users tend to be younger and artistically inclined. This purchase allows Yahoo to become a serious contender in social media. What relieves me as a user of Tumblr is that aesthetically it makes sense with Mayer’s experience. At Google, she oversaw the design of their homepage, Gmail, and Google Maps. The outcome of this still remains to be seen, but thanks to Mayer’s impressive leadership and the addition to Tumblr, Yahoo is slowly making strides to being as inspired as its competitors.