Peter Kafka

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Yahoo Buys Tumblr and Promises “Not to Screw It Up”

marissa_mayer_david_karpYou already know all the details, but here’s the official word from Yahoo on its $1.1 billion Tumblr deal. Note the touches of Tumblr-like whimsy in the release, and Yahoo’s tacit acknowledgment that this sort of thing is easy for a big company to botch.

Yahoo! to Acquire Tumblr
Promises not to screw it up

SUNNYVALE, Calif. & NEW YORK — (BUSINESS WIRE) — Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Tumblr announced today that they have reached a definitive agreement for Yahoo! to acquire Tumblr.

Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp will remain CEO. The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators.

With more than 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 signups every day, Tumblr is one of the fastest-growing media networks in the world. Tumblr sees 900 posts per second (!) and 24 billion minutes spent on site each month. On mobile, more than half of Tumblr’s users are using the mobile app and do an average of 7 sessions per day. Its tremendous popularity and engagement among creators, curators and audiences of all ages brings a significant new community of users to the Yahoo! network. The combination of Tumblr+Yahoo! is expected to grow Yahoo!’s audience by 50 percent to more than a billion monthly visitors, and to grow traffic by approximately 20 percent.

The deal offers unique opportunities for both companies. Tumblr can deploy Yahoo!’s personalization technology and search infrastructure to help its users discover creators, bloggers, and content they’ll love. In turn, Tumblr brings 50 billion blog posts (and 75 million more arriving each day) to Yahoo!’s media network and search experiences. The two companies will also work together to create advertising opportunities that are seamless and enhance the user experience.

Total consideration is approximately $1.1 billion, substantially all of which is payable in cash.

“Tumblr is redefining creative expression online,” said Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer. “On many levels, Tumblr and Yahoo! couldn’t be more different, but, at the same time, they couldn’t be more complementary. Yahoo is the Internet’s original media network. Tumblr is the Internet’s fastest-growing media frenzy. Both companies are homes for brands – established and emerging. And, fundamentally, Tumblr and Yahoo! are both all about users, design, and finding surprise and inspiration amidst the everyday.”

“I’ve long held the view that in all things art and design, you can feel the spirit and demeanor of the creator. That’s why it was no surprise to me that David Karp is one of the nicest, most empathetic people I’ve ever met. He’s also one of the most perceptive, capable entrepreneurs I’ve ever worked with,” continued Mayer. “David’s respect for Tumblr’s community of creators is awesome. I’m absolutely delighted to have him join our team.”

David Karp, CEO of Tumblr, addressed the Tumblr community, “Our team isn’t changing. Our roadmap isn’t changing. And our mission — to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve — certainly isn’t changing. But we’re elated to have the support of Yahoo! and their team who share our dream to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas. Tumblr gets better faster with more resources to draw from.”

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the second half of the year.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has her own announcement, where she repeats most of the same information from the official memo, but also includes an animated GIF.

And here’s Tumblr founder David Karp’s memo, which is even more … Tumblrier.

News!

Everyone, I’m elated to tell you that Tumblr will be joining Yahoo.

Before touching on how awesome this is, let me try to allay any concerns: We’re not turning purple. Our headquarters isn’t moving. Our team isn’t changing. Our roadmap isn’t changing. And our mission — to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve — certainly isn’t changing.

So what’s new? Simply, Tumblr gets better faster. The work ahead of us remains the same — and we still have a long way to go! — but with more resources to draw from.

Yahoo is the original Internet company, and Marissa and her team share our dream to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas. I couldn’t be more excited to have her help. We also share a vision for Tumblr’s business that doesn’t compromise the community and product we love. Plus both our logos end with punctuation!

As always, everything that Tumblr is, we owe to this unbelievable community. We won’t let you down.

Fuck yeah,
David


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik