Yahoo buying Tumblr brings to mind an important question for businesses with an online presence: Will Yahoo make Tumblr better or worse?
But first to answer a question that many have been asking — What is Tumblr? the confusing answer is a microblogging site where you choose the medium of your blog. The easy answer is it’s a website where you use a combination of photos or videos along with printed captions to entertain an audience with the attention span of a goldfish (although strictly speaking you can choose any combination of Text, Photo, Quotes, Links, Chat, Audio or Video). This means no long blog posts just something short, informative and entertaining.
As soon as Yahoo announced its intended acquisition of Tumblr, bloggers began screaming their disapproval. But these microbloggers are missing the point — Yahoo doesn’t want Tumblr, it wants Tumblr’s users (mostly Gen Y/Millenials) to start using Yahoo. Yahoo’s current demographics are older adults (Gen Y’s parents), and is having trouble diversifying their consumer base. Thus Yahoo will be wooing Tumblr’s users, and will be careful not to alienate them.
As Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer puts it, “We promise not to screw it up.” Yahoo will be keeping the layout that Tumblr has worked hard to perfect and David Karp, the current Tumblr CEO, will remain in charge with creative power, his current staff and current branding. In short, post-Yahoo Tumblr will be nearly identical to pre-Yahoo Tumblr.
So why all the hype? We all know that more of the same is bad for business, and we expect 2 major changes that might lure more businesses to Tumblr: Searchability & Advertising.
Yahoo remains one of the top 15 search engines worldwide. This comes from advanced search algorithms, experience and power. We expect Yahoo to impart some of this know-how to increase the searchability of Tumblr blogs— thereby helping to expand reach, influence, and the roi of your pages.
Advertising remains the best way to monetize social media, and Yahoo is forecasting a significant increase in the value of Tumblr due to ad-based revenue (remember in 2012 Tumblr had an annual revenue of $13 million but just sold for $1.1 billion). Bloggers will have the options to opt-in to ads which gets rid of the negative reception for consumers who associate ads with annoyance.
For all of us who have been watching major social networks as they integrate advertisements and sponsored posts, we can recognize the potential inherent in Tumblr advertisements. We know the value of a Facebook like is about $174.14, and with the continued expansion of social media networks and social media advertising, the value is poised to rise. Connecting with prospective/current customers has always been important, and Tumblr is no exception. Every generation has a favored social network and Tumblr will be critical for marketing to Gen Y and Z.
It is our recommendations: If you’re not currently on Tumblr, then at least advertise on it. Tumblr is poised to grow, and your company should be ready for it.