Yahoo! purchases Tumblr for $1.1 billion, promises “not to screw it up”

After Yahoo!’s purchase of Tumblr over the weekend, Marissa Meyer took to Yahoo!’s Tumblr page to explain what this means for both companies. Most of it is the usual “they’re a great fit for us” and “we share a common goal”, but the best part was this, at the beginning:

We promise not to screw it up. Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going. We will operate Tumblr independently. David Karp will remain CEO. The product roadmap, their team, their wit and irreverence will all remain the same as will their mission to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve. Yahoo! will help Tumblr get even better, faster.

Yahoo! has had a nasty habit of purchasing promising start-ups and service, only then to let them stagnate until they’re eventually discontinued. GeoCities, Delicious and (especially) Flickr are just some examples of sites that suffered after some time under the ownership of Yahoo!, and it’s something Marissa Mayer is quick to point out won’t happen again.

Over the last few months, Flickr has seen a great new iOS app released and Delicious, instead of Yahoo!’s intention to shut it down, sold it off to Avos systems.

John Gruber made a comparison to Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, a service that is still independent of any Facebook branding:

If they treat Tumblr the way Facebook has (so far) treated Instagram, I think this will work out well.

Tumblr has done exceptionally well ever since it was launched and it’s one of those few services on the internet that has continually grown in popularity. Blogging platforms and social networking sites come and go all the time but Tumblr has remained throughout as one of the most popular sites around. If Twitter and Facebook are #1 and #2, Tumblr is definitely a close third.

This is one of the biggest acquisitions of recent times, not just in terms of the price but the popularity the service has and I’d doubt Tumblr CEO David Karp would be doing this if he didn’t think it was for the good of the company he has worked so hard to build.