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It’s been in the pipeline for several weeks. But now it looks like a Yahoo purchase of the blogging website Tumblr is happening. Yahoo’s board agreed on Sunday to pony up for Instagram-sized pricetag of $1.1 billion for Tumblr and its 26-year-old founder David Karp. The buy could offer an influx of advertising and business savvy.
AllThingsD first reported the deal. Kara Swisher, co-founding editor of AllThingsD, says this is a big part of the mission for Yahoo’s new CEO Marissa Mayer — a mission to make the aging Internet company cool again.
“She has been trying to regenerate it by doing a series of superficial things like free food and free iPhones,” says Swisher. “But she really needs to fundamentally change the way people think of Yahoo.”
Some worry Yahoo’s Tumblr purchase will endanger the blog site’s youthful, free-form vibe. Though Swisher says as long as the product quality doesn’t change, the audience is likely to stay satisfied.
“Nobody has run from Instagram because Facebook owns it. People like Instagram because it’s a great product,” says Swisher. “They would be smart to leave [Tumblr] alone like Facebook has done with Instagram.”
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