Photo Credit: Bloomberg, Getty Images
You've heard by now that Yahoo announced a $1.1 billion deal to buy Tumbler. But, um, do you know what Tumblr actually is? Totally okay if you don’t! Here’s a quickie guide so you can sound smart when talking about today’s big tech news.
It’s a blog platform and social networking website in one.
At its essence, Tumblr is a site that allows its users to post content in a short blog, also known as a microblog, format. But it has a social aspect too: Users can follow others’ Tumblrs (or make their settings private).
Let’s say you see something compelling on someone else’s Tumblr. You can click to reblog it (and adding your own commentary if you so choose), which will allow your own followers to see that content too. So it has some similarities to Twitter, which allows users to retweet content.
It’s easily searchable using tags.
Tags are an important part of the Tumblr-sphere, with users able to search for and discover content tagged with key words — like “braids,” “beaches,” “cocktail recipes,” you name it.
Brands are on Tumblr too.
In much the same way brands are using Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to reach their audiences, many have Tumblr presences as well. And some analysts actually think this will increase since the Yahoo purchase.
Tons of people are using it.
More than 100 million people and entities have blogs hosted on Tumblr. (Including Beyonce! And iVilllage!)
A lot of those people are young and saavy.
Yahoo C.E.O. Marissa Mayer is hoping the purchase can help reinvigorate Yahoo, attaching it to a younger, fresher audience. Tumblr’s founder is the 26-year-old David Karp, who dropped out of high school at 15. Remind you at all of any other irreverent young tech C.E.O.? (Achoo — Mark Zuckerberg.)
Yahoo won’t wreck Tumbr.
Or at least that’s what Yahooo C.E.O. Marissa Mayer wrote in a blunt Tumblr post of her own that said, "We promise not to screw it up." She said Yahoo’s branding won’t appear on Tumblr, which will still operate independently with Karp staying on as C.E.O.
Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer, the founder of home and travel blog Homebody in Motion and an iVillage's lifestyle blogger. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.