Business, Economics and Jobs

It's official: Yahoo reaches agreement on $1.1 billion Tumblr purchase



David Karp of Tumblr speaks onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 at The Manhattan Center on May 1, 2013 in New York City. The 26-year-old's blogging platform is set to be acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion.


Brian Ach

On Monday, Yahoo announced that it had reached a definitive agreement on acquiring Tumblr and promised not to screw it up.

"Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business," Yahoo said in a statement. "David Karp will remain CEO. The product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit, and commitment to empower creators."

Yahoo's board approved the tech company's $1.1 billion purchase of blogging platform Tumblr on Sunday, the latest attempt by CEO Marissa Mayer to appeal to a younger audience, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In its announcement on Monday, Yahoo sung Tumblr's praises. "Its tremendous popularity and engagement among creators, curators and audiences of all ages brings a significant new community of users to the Yahoo! network. The combination of Tumblr+Yahoo! is expected to grow Yahoo!'s audience by 50 percent to more than a billion monthly visitors, and to grow traffic by approximately 20 percent."

The acquisition is the latest in a series of buy-ups by Yahoo, which in March bought both social recommendation site Jybe and mobile news reader Summly, run by 17-year-old Nick D'Aloisio. The company also recently roped in mobile games developer Loki Studios.  

Tumblr, however, is Yahoo's most high-profile bid to date, and a clear attempt to appeal to the 18-to-24 set. The site certainly has an audience: Tumblr had 117 million visitors in April, and boasts that it plays host to 107.8 million blogs and 50.6 billion posts.

However, Mayer will have to figure out how to monetize the social media site, which only made $13 million in 2012 and has been floundering financially, according to TechCrunch

As All Things Digital reported:

According to numerous sources, Mayer started an intense focus on Tumblr about six weeks ago and determined quickly that the fast-growing content site, turbocharged by mountains of user-generated content, was just the kind of property that Yahoo needed to make it both “cool” and relevant to new audiences.

The image-heavy social media site's 26-year-old founder and CEO David Karp has been promised autonomy in his operation of Tumblr, though he is reportedly locked into a four-year contract with Yahoo based on the site's performance, AllThingsD reported. 

Yahoo has scheduled a press conference for Monday in New York, where Tumblr is headquartered, presumably to formally announce the purchase. 

More from GlobalPost: Summly: UK teen Nick D'Aloisio sells app to Yahoo for millions (VIDEO)

[View the story "Tumblr fans worry about Yahoo acquisition" on Storify]