Wall Street Journal says Yahoo will buy Tumblr for $1.1 billion
That's a lot of cash, no matter who you are. But it could be a bold move by Yahoo to inflate its relevance. Tumblr is in a category that also includes Instagram -- sites that depend upon users sharing with one another, very much in a "social" way, but not in a manner that directly competes with Facebook. Tumblr counts on rapid-fire posts, sharing, and re-sharing of uncounted sources and types of content. Everyone seems to want to control the "next Facebook", but Tumblr and Instagram (which was purchased by Facebook last year) might just be the logical successors to Facebook, without actually looking much like Facebook. Yahoo, meanwhile, is about as seasoned (read: old) as an Internet company gets. Under CEO Marissa Mayer, they seem to be adopting the conglomerate model for an online company -- putting together a porfolio of services under one ownership umbrella, without actually integrating those services together, and they're treating their properties somewhat independently. For their flagship Yahoo page, they're reaching out to integrate services from other companies (like Twitter) into what they do. What's funny about that move is that many stock traders and investors actually discount the value of conventional conglomerates and pay less for them. It's not a rational thing to do of course, but the "conglomerate discount" is a widely-known phenomenon. Yet, moving from the bricks-and-mortar world into the online world, people seem to shift from discounting conglomerates to valuing them more.
Interactive map of Iowa tornadoes since 1950