Tumblr, one of the Internet’s most popular blogging platforms, is now in the hands of Yahoo! after a $1.1 billion purchase by the tech giant. While Yahoo! pops champagne bottles at the promise of boosted revenue, cat lovers and Star Trek fans across Tumblr are mourning the agreement. They think Yahoo! will ruin Tumblr’s spirit, that ads and “the man” will take over everyone’s dashboards.
First of all, David Karp is still the man in charge. According to Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, Karp will remain in full control of Tumblr, with Yahoo promising that they won’t “screw it [Tumblr] up.” Basically, Yahoo! is going to keep its nose out of daily operations and leave everything up to the Tumblr professionals. Mayer and company also aren’t ignorant and know Tumblr depends on user-generated content. If Yahoo! wants to keep Tumblr—and therefore itself—afloat, it needs to keep pleasing the masses. And it fully intends to do just that.
Moreover, Yahoo! needs Tumblr more than Tumblr needs Yahoo!. We all know Yahoo! isn’t the beacon of strength it used to be on the Internet, particularly because it’s in constant competition with Google. Thus, it’s doing anything it can to stay hot on the market. Yahoo! has speculated that the deal with Tumblr will increase its revenues by 2014 without disclosing specific figures, Reuters reported. Some analysts question whether or not Tumblr’s earnings will contribute much of anything to Yahoo’s success, but regardless, this is undoubtedly a move by Yahoo! to try to boost its standing.
Back to the overdramatic Tumblr users. Deals like this happen all the time in the technology world—Google bought YouTube, Facebook purchased Instagram—and everyone is still doing fine. Tumblr might feel like a niche website in a special corner of the Internet, but at the end of the day, it’s just another company that needs money. If you were Karp, would you turn down all of the extra dough he’s about to get?
As long as Yahoo! keeps its promise to let Tumblr function independently, the site will most likely run normally. Sure, there might be some extra ads and a tweak or two, but Tumblr’s spirit will still remain as long as its users don’t give up on it. Just keep ranting about Doctor Who and watching porn like it’s any other day, and Tumblr will continue to be Tumblr.