I mentioned on Twitter last week that the rumors surrounding the Yahoo purchase of Tumblr were not as concerning as the rest of the Web thought. The last six months of updates to Yahoo’s mobile strategy are very encouraging to me, one only needs to check out the redesigned Yahoo! and Yahoo! Weather apps to see the focus shift. The addition of Tumblr would only bolster the resume.
This theory was seconded yesterday by Dwight Silverman from the Houston Chronicle on This Week In Tech. He mentioned that while Flickr (the first Yahoo! purchase to drop the “e”) has a loyal base of users, their mobile offering is far from the superior experience that Tumblr offers.
The platform has the same monetization issues that Twitter once had, but if Yahoo! has one strength it is to figure that out. Marissa Mayer reportedly wooed David Karp herself, promising autonomy as well as the support he needs to take Tumblr to the next level.
What Tumblr has done better than anyone expected is encourage usage among young users, something the Internet stalwart needs badly if it wants to stay relevant in the tech landscape. The key will be how Karp’s new boss handles content issues that may arise once the purchase is complete.
This sale is bigger than Instagram’s, because the deal is all cash. Instead of a boatload of stock that could later tank (like Facebook), investors are getting the buyout they deserve.
The true genius of Tumblr (one of the reasons I chose it for this blog) is how diverse it is. You can have a blog of text, links, photos, even animated GIFs if you desire. You can also use it as a tool to re-broadcast the posts of others. The user is only limited by his or her imagination.
The best part is the mobile offering.
The main reason I went with this platform is that I can share from my phone just as easily as my desktop. Yes, the UI is smooth and professional on my iMac. For many, that would be enough. I just don’t live my life in front of a traditional machine much anymore.
My phone is usually the only device I take to meetings now. Granted, many don’t have the same luxory as I do. What I need a piece of software to do for true engagement is the ability to seamlessly move from phone to desktop. It’s why Twitter, Evernote, Chrome, Skype, Spotify, and Tumblr are the main applications I use every day.
Mayer is going after young, mobile users with this purchase. I do not believe that she is going to get in the way of Karp’s vision, and he has the next four years to get all he wants done (if the reported buyout agreement is true). While I don’t expect a lot of innovation to be added by Yahoo!, I do think there is some that can be had by this marriage.
I won’t be leaving Tumblr soon. In fact I’m expecting great things from the platform now.