By: Kaitlin Pondolfino
In recent news, Tumblr was purchased by Yahoo for a whopping $1.1 billion, making it CEO Marissa Mayer’s biggest deal to date. Per agreement, Tumblr’s founder David Karp won’t be leaving his position as the head of the website. According to Mayer, in order for Tumblr to continue to see success, Yahoo plans to “allow them to run fast and stay true to their user base and community.” This provides comfort while comparing the future of Tumblr to the not so distant past of Flickr.
Yahoo seemed to have a very different approach and opinion of the popular photo sharing site Flickr when they bought it from founders Stewart Butterfield and Caterina Fake in 2005. Flickr, previously tag lined as “almost certainly the best online photo sharing app in the world,” has now been lost in the shuffle in the midst of Facebook, Instagram, and other similar social media sites. When Flickr was purchased, Yahoo promised nothing but greatness for its users but the innovative start-up quickly plummeted when commonly shared values did not line up. Yahoo’s main focus was simply the database its users had built and tagged. There was a disconnect when it came to Yahoo caring about the community that had created Flickr – it did not continue to grow and there wasn’t an effort to introduce new features. In addition, Flickr was not profitable due to lack of resources, and they seemed to miss the boat on local, real time, mobile, and social factors that other related social media sites had in their favor.
The web in general has become a much more social direction in recent times. Although Flickr was at the forefront of that movement, their success did not pan out the way it was intended to. This made me question – will Tumblr remain the successful blogging site it’s been or could it potentially face the same struggles Flickr did after being purchased by Yahoo?