Yahoo acquires Tumblr, grows network

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has announced on her personal Tumblr blog the company’s plans to acquire the social blogging site for $1.1 billion. It is Mayer’s largest deal to date since becoming head of the multinational Internet corporation. 

Per the agreement, which Yahoo promises “not to screw up,” Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business, and founder David Karp will remain its CEO. According to Yahoo, “the product, service and brand will continue to be defined and developed separately with the same Tumblr irreverence, wit and commitment to empower creators.”

With more than 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 signups every day, Tumblr is one of the fastest-growing media networks in the world. Tumblr sees 900 posts per second and 24 billion minutes spent on site each month. On mobile, more than half of Tumblr's users are using the mobile app and do an average of 7 sessions per day. 

Yahoo intends on leveraging the site’s popularity and reach to recruit creators, curators and audiences of all ages to its own network. Yahoo! expects to grow its audience by 50% to more than 1 billion monthly visitors, and to grow traffic by approximately 20%.

The two companies will also work together to create advertising opportunities that are seamless and enhance the user experience. Tumblr made headlines last month when it announced plans to start rolling out ads starting May 2 in an effort to generate revenue — a move that made Karp take back his reported aversion to digital ads, which he expressed back in 2010. 

"Tumblr is redefining creative expression online," said Mayer. "On many levels, Tumblr and Yahoo couldn't be more different, but, at the same time, they couldn't be more complementary. Yahoo is the Internet's original media network. Tumblr is the Internet's fastest-growing media frenzy. Both companies are homes for brands — established and emerging. And, fundamentally, Tumblr and Yahoo are both all about users, design and finding surprise and inspiration amidst the everyday."

"Our team isn't changing. Our roadmap isn't changing. And our mission — to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve — certainly isn't changing. But we're elated to have the support of Yahoo and their team who share our dream to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas. Tumblr gets better faster with more resources to draw from," said Karp in a statement to the Tumblr community.

The transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the second half of the year.