In the end the question that remains: is Tumblr the fountain of youth that Yahoo badly needs or will this be a case of a pathetic middle-aged guy hanging with youngsters, trying to be hip.
The good thing is that this doesn’t seem to be an attempt at an acqhire. But otherwise, I’m a bit uneasy.
Rather than something being defined centrally at the top, users’ impressions of Tumblr come from other users, and the experiences from interacting with each other. In turn, this informs what sort of mutually-beneficial partnerships Tumblr can form. And unfortunately for Yahoo!, right now, only uncool people would see Tumblr being owned by them as cool. I’m sure Marissa Mayer knows that, so I’d like to think she’ll take the hands‑off approach Condé Nast took on Reddit, and not overlay/force the Yahoo! brand on Tumblr.
Only thing I’m worried about is money. Yahoo! will want Tumblr to help them make a profit. Right now, nobody beyond Tumblr and its investors are certain it’s making any money at all. In which case, it could survive as a money-losing operation for Yahoo! so long as they provide more value to their other businesses; I’m mainly thinking of advertising. Otherwise, the company or the shareholders will want it shut down. And I love Tumblr too much to want to see that happen.
That’s assuming any of this does go down, of course.
I’d like to see Tumblr stay independent, but if they really can’t turn a profit by themselves and this helps keep the product alive, I’ll accept it. As long as the new owners don’t ruin it.