“Although the social media service has become red hot — it averages about 75.8M posts a day — it generated just $12M in revenue last year and hopes for $100M this year, Forbes says. CEO David Karp began to sell ads for the site just a year ago. Yahoo has more than enough cash to make the deal. Still, Mayer could use Wall Street’s support for the biggest acquisition that she has made since taking charge in July.”
Oh lord. what’s their plan to milk more money out of us?
‘Mayer wants to incorporate Yahoo!’s products — including search, email, and its popular homepage — into the “daily habits” of its users, in an echo of the “toothbrush” philosophy espoused by her former boss, Google CEO Larry Page.’
That sounds like Yahoo wants to clutter up the Tumblr interface so that we’re looking at it through a Yahoo frame with lots of Yahoo products being pushed at us. (On a practical level, this probably means a move forcing us to log in with Yahoo IDs, as happened with Flickr.)
I find it significant that on the same day, Yahoo closed its venerable messenger chatrooms, which were where fans and RPers found a voice in the mid-nineties, because they don’t “add much value.” On the one hand, yes, products like AIM are so last century. On the other hand, the “value” Yahoo is talking about is profit. If users are only talking to and sharing things with one another, instead of interacting with the host site and clicking ads, it makes no money.
It seems that Karp created a site that scaled more quickly than expected, and Tumblr’s maintenance costs have been outstripping its revenue. So Tumblr had to do something to save itself. But what if you’re reaching for a life rope, and someone tosses you a leash?