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Yahoo in Trouble Partly Due to Tumblr Acquisition

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Before I really start on this article I should say that I'm a regular Tumblr user. I usually access it at least once a day from both desktop and mobile and I check it as often as some people check Facebook. I'm someone who advertising and any changes made to the site would affect and I'm someone who remembers the outcry when Yahoo brought Tumblr back in 2013. Now it seems to be coming back to bite them in the behind.

When we think of Yahoo we think of it as a search engine, an email agent and maybe a media site or instant messenger. It's not such a huge service as Google and it certainly hasn't made as much money. A lot of people laugh at Google because of Google+ still going steadily downhill but it's still the most regularly used search engine, they own YouTube and anyone who buys an Android phone is using a Google system. Google have plenty going for them which Yahoo do not and haven't done for years. When Marissa Mayer took over in 2012 she wanted to bring in more money through mobile services and she has done that but it's not been enough. Yahoo has recently announced that they're having to get rid of 15% of their staff and may have to sell off the business.

Part of their reason for losing money is because they bought the social media service Tumblr. It's more of a media and publishing platform than it is much else and it works very differently to services like Facebook and Twitter where they can make most of their money through advertising. Anyone who uses Tumblr knows that there are more adverts these days but they’re either being ignored or made fun of because they're not targeted at people who use Tumblr. Over Christmas there was an Asda advert, Asda who are owned by Walmart who many people on Tumblr decided to boycott after accusations of homophobia. It probably wasn’t the best course of action. Advertisement works great when it's like Facebook and the adverts can be tailored towards you, which, unless they start using tags more, they can't be on Tumblr. It's not a social media service that's ever going to be great for advertising in a more traditional sense, more of a company should start a blog and gain a following until they start making more and more money. But that only really works if you're doing things people actually want to look at.

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Yahoo paid $1 billion for Tumblr and expected to get $100 million back after a year, but that wasn't going to happen. Tumblr isn't a service like Flickr that they can easily make money from and if they were to do that then there would be a lot they'd need to do. Make the mobile app work better so people wouldn't miss adverts for one thing, as well as making connections with other companies for events so people on Tumblr would be involved like they are on Facebook or Twitter. They already do something on New York fashion week every year, why not make that more official and something they can make money out of? Enough people and businesses use Tumblr that it could be worth something if done smartly but Yahoo isn’t really making use of it.

Now Verizon are looking to buy Yahoo just as they brought AOL. It's not completely certain why the wireless and telecommunications company is currently interested in them but it seems likely that they would be able to improve on some of Yahoo's services like Tumblr as well as any videos and other media they post. They would also be helpful in making their services even more mobile friendly. Mayer could decide not to sell to them but where Yahoo currently stands and with what Verizon could provide, she'd probably be smart to hand the company over.


Rosina Brooker

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @RosinaAtSMF


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Yahoo in Trouble Partly Due to Tumblr Acquisition Reviewed by Rosina Brooker on Thursday, February 11, 2016 Rating: 5

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