Yahoo wants to buy Tumblr. We hear Facebook might spoil the party. But the question is: is Tumblr the fountain of youth that Yahoo badly needs or will this be case of a pathetic old-middle aged guy hanging with youngsters trying to be hip.
My first thought was “I’m okay with this.” Yahoo, as a search giant, could bring some much needed and long desired functionality to tumblr (*cough* MULTIPLE TAG SEARCH *cough*), and they’re so desperate to attract and keep the Tumblr audience that I could see them being much more responsive towards their user base than Tumblr ever has been.
But the pros end there. Yahoo has a bad track record when it comes to its treatment of the companies it buys— look at the histories of Flickr and Delicious for proof of this— and I wouldn’t be surprised if Yahoo’s intervention actually made this site worse in the long run. And Yahoo would be in a real spot of trouble if that came to pass, because Tumblr is a fairly simple and therefore highly replaceable social network— all it would take is one for person to create a viable alternative, and folks would leave here in droves.
So we’ll see what happens. I’ve got my fingers crossed for a best case scenario where Yahoo and the Tumblr team join forces and we get the best of both worlds, but I’m not holding my breath.
I won’t even address the possibility of Facebook buying this place. If that happens I’ll jump ship so fast you’d think my ass was on fire.