Will Yahoo! firesale Tumblr?

This article was first published by dmcityview.com

Going out of business sales are a bargain shoppers dream. If you’ve done your homework and strike at just the right time, a penny-pincher can walk away with a deal that will an absolute steal. While cheapskates and moneygrubbers live for these big scores, so do businesses. Whether we’re talking mega-banks swooping in during the financial crisis to strip clean the carcasses of their collapsing peers or Google milking Motorola for all its valuable patents before tossing it to the curb, bargains are loved no matter the industry. Now it seems the organization ready to be torn apart any minute is Yahoo.

Given its 10-year slide into tech industry joke, Yahoo has a surprising amount of valuable assets. Besides holding a large stake in the Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba, Yahoo owns Flickr (one of the largest, longest running photo hosting sites on the web), Rivals (a major online sports journalism and entertainment magazine), and Finally Tumblr. Flickr and Rivals have been well oiled machines that have weathered Yahoo’s rocky years, but Tumblr has only been under the Yahoo for three years and there’s no certainty how these choppy business waters will affect it.

Started in 2007, Tumblr sort of a more photo and image-centric version of Twitter. Whereas Twitter became a popular outlet for journalism, entertainers, and public figures, Tumblr developed into more of microblogging site for artists and graphic based web comics. Tumblr is pretty much responsible for all those memes where photos are overlaid with snarky block text that have polluted the internet in recent years.

It’s funny that Tumblr ultimately ended up being acquired by Yahoo as their respective relevance are almost mirror images. By the time Tumblr entered the social media scene Facebook was already dominating, Twitter quickly became the hot new thing, LinkedIn snatched up the business networking market, and where it seemed Tumblr would nab the artististic world, Pinterest and Instagram swooped in and stole the show. Today, Tumblr is a network without a mass appeal public image. While it’s microblogging rival Twitter asserted itself into the media and broadcasting world with #Hashtags and “Trending Topics,” Tumblr has… well it hasn’t done anything! The Tumblr of 2016 isn’t too different from the Tumblr of 2007.

So if Yahoo does ultimate hang an “Everything Must Go” sign on its frontporch (as most seem to think it will), what does that mean for Tumblr? Flickr will go to a high bidder; with it being firmly engrained in the online photo world and vibrant userbase some tech firm will snatch it up in a second. Rivals will be bought for somewhere near its actual value; few sites rival (pun very much intended) the college recruiting and actual sports journalism the site offers. But Tumblr? Well if it hasn’t proven itself a winner by this point, I’m not so sure it will get the chance to become one.

For proof, look once more at Twitter. As loved as it is, Twitter is actually starting to lose users and every earnings report is posts seems like a plea for help. If it is in trouble, what would-be buyer is itching to acquiring Diet Twitter, i.e. Tumblr.

Tumblr may not the prettiest girl at the dance, but someone will ultimately dance with her. If you need evidence look to Myspace, it hasn’t been cool in a dozen years and somehow it attracted Justin Timberlake as an investor. It seems second chances come to those with a recognizable name and millions of users. Something to which Tumblr can relate. although I’m sure it doesn’t want to be compared to Myspace which Timberlake and crew picked up for $35 million in 2011. Now that was a tech bargain.



Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. For more tech insights, follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb

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