Yahoo is quickly going the way of AOL in that it’s becoming a place that simply isn’t “cool”, at least to the emerging internet users and those 20- and 30-somethings who still want to be cutting edge (and 40-, and 50-…). Everyone knows it, even Yahoo itself.
“One of our challenges is we have had an aging demographic,” said CFO Ken Goldman spoke at JP Morgan’s Global Technology conference. “Part of it is going to be just visibility again in making ourselves cool, which we got away from for a couple of years.”
They started heading in the right direction by getting a hip, young CEO to run the ship, but so far it hasn’t been enough to expand their demographic. One way they could do it, according to AdWeek, is to buy social blogging site Tumblr:
Yahoo is in serious talks with Tumblr to acquire the social blogging site, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. The deal is not done, but could reach as high as $1 billion, Adweek has learned.
Unlike many purchases that end up ruining the purchased site and becoming a black eye for the purchaser, this particular move would be a step in the right direction. It’s unlikely that Yahoo would change much if anything. They would simply ry to integrate their own services into the successful platform. If it ain’t broke…
Would the site be worth the 10-digit price tag that is rumored? Absolutely. If Instagram was worth a billion dollars to Facebook, Tumblr is definitely worth that much and more to Yahoo. They have a greater need than Facebook had. More importantly, they’re getting a more polished platform. Tumblr has had its share of ups and downs over the years, but it has been consistently growing and overcomes its setbacks quickly. The site is nimble. The users are nimble. The content is fluid. The potential is limitless.
It may not be enough to put Yahoo back on the tech giant map, but it would definitely have a quick and sustainable impact, particularly if they can integrate email and their coveted homepage with the site. It’s risky, but at this point they have to be aggressive or else they’ll die the slow death that has befallen AOL over the years.