Yahoo! buys Tumblr, promises “not to screw it up”

Alex Walls
May 20, 2013

Yahoo! has bought the social sharing site, Tumblr, for about $US1.1 billion ( £723 million).

The website, which has more than 300 million monthly unique visitors, 120,000 signups a day and more than half its users making use of the mobile app, would be acquired by Yahoo! by the second half of this year, provided all goes well, but Yahoo! have promised that Tumblr would be independently operated as a separate business, with the same chief executive, David Karp.

“Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up,…the product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators.”

The sharing site, which has spawned hundreds of humorous animated gif  collections, saw 900 posts per second, with 24 billion minutes spent on the site each month, Yahoo! said.

Yahoo! earlier in the year bought intelligent news app Summly, the fourth mobile-focussed startup since chief executive Marissa Mayer stepped up in July, the Verge reported.  Mayer reportedly said she aimed to make Yahoo! accessible and relevant to a mobile-first culture – and purchasing Tumblr is certainly a way to do that.

While Tumblr could make use of Yahoo!’s personalization tech to help users find content they would like, Yahoo! could use the billions of blog posts Tumblr received every day in its search capabilities, while both companies would work towards mutual advertising opportunities, Yahoo! said.

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