The deal has been sealed for Yahoo to acquire the ultra popular blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer has promised there won’t be any significant changes to the platform, and will provide ads that are “seamless and enhance user experience.” However, with the way the Internet giant has capitalized on both display and text advertising, should Tumblr users be worried?
Apparently they already are, as users are allegedly turning to its competitor WordPress in droves. You might recall the the extreme backlash Instagram received over its revised Terms of Service to potentially sell users’ photos. The giant protest eventually led to Instagram retracting its intentions, and ads have yet to force entry on the platform. Could users switch to other platforms cause Tumblr to think twice about the acquisition?
This issue begs the question of whether it’s a good idea for social platforms to introduce advertising from the start, instead of forcing it on users later on for any reason. It’s understandable for Tumblr to want to monetize the brand, however is it worth sacrificing its popularity for a buck? What are some other ways the Yahoo/Tumblr acquisition can monetize without losing its users? Will this decision ultimately be to the company’s demise? There are ways to make this work, similarly to Twitter’s sponsored tweets in Tumblr users’ dashboard feeds. It would be cool to integrate Tumblr blogs with Yahoo profiles, providing more visibility for serious bloggers.
How do you think ads will be a less than annoying addition to Tumblr? Weigh in in the comments!