Yahoo Acquires Tumblr for $1.1 Billion

The acquisition is now official. Yahoo! in an official statement announced the acquisition of popular blogging platform Tumblr for approximately $1.1 billion, all in cash. In comparison, it’s just a little more than what Facebook paid for Instagram last summer.

In a blog post, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer promises that it “won’t screw it (Tumblr) up.” The CEO said that it plans to run Tumblr independently, and Tumblr founder David Karp will remain in his role as CEO. Mayer says that Yahoo will be helping Tumblr to “get even better, faster.”

With this acquisition Yahoo adds itself to the list of established Internet companies, including Google and Facebook that have spent more than $1 billion to acquire startup companies in hope of expanding their services and gaining an edge in growth.

Many Tumblr users are now worried whether Yahoo would screw it up, however, CEO Marissa Mayer has promised to evolve Tumblr to a better and faster blogging platform. She adds, “both Tumblr and Yahoo! share a vision to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas by focusing on users, design – and building experiences that delight and inspire the world every day.”

On the other hand, this acquisition could be a part of Yahoo’s rebuilding strategy, which the company has been trying to build stronger core for the last couple of years.

Here’s how Mayer made the announcement:

Yahoo Acquires Tumblr

Yahoo’s stock was down 0.3% Friday, trading at $26.50 a share.

Update:

Yahoo! also made an announcement that it’s official blog is now located at yahoo.tumblr.com

Tumblr Accounts Hacked with Malicious Spam Post

Update: Looks like the issue has been resolved and everything is back to normal.

Tumblr engineers have resolved the issue of the viral post attack that affected a few thousand Tumblr blogs. Thanks for your patience.

Tumblr has been hacked and nearly 8600 unique user accounts have been compromised, with thousands of blogs defaced. The hacking attempt was successfully carried out by a notorious anti-blogging Internet-trolling group called GNAA or the ‘Gay Nigger Association of America’, best known for having trolled several prominent websites and Internet personalities including Slashdot, Wikipedia, CNN, and Barack Obama’s campaign website.

The following message is posted on the defaced blogs:

Tumblr Accounts Hacked

Dearest `Tumblr’ users,

We have taken the liberty of upgrading your (rather tasteless, we must say) blog to our premier GNAA Deluxe Gary Niger (pictured to the left) Signed Edition! This is in response to the seemingly pandemic growth and world-wide propagation of the most FUCKING WORTHLESS, CONTRIVED, BOURGEOISIE, SELF-CONGRATULATING AND DECADENT BULLSHIT THE INTERNET EVER HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF FACILITATING. However, we do not believe you are beyond redemption! All you have to do is DRINK BLEACH AND DIE YOU EMO, SELF-INSISTING, SELF-DEPRECATING, SELF-INDULGENT EMPTY HUSKS OF HUMAN BEINGS. REPEAT AFTER ME: I WISH I WAS PROFOUND, BUT I’M NOT! I WISH I WAS ORIGINAL, BUT I’M NOT! I WISH MY IMPENDING DEATH WAS OF ANY CONSEQUENCE, BUT IT IS MOST CERTAINLY NOT! Your last chance for redemption hinges upon your death; your death which was most fortunately prescribed by your most unfortunate birth. Fret not, dear emo, your death will be regarded as a sacrifice to humanity; to die a martyr is a glorious death, and will likely be your highest contribution to society.

P.S. Attempting to delete these posts will delete your tumblr account ;] But, by all means, go ahead!

If you’re blog is one among the compromised accounts, we recommend you to change your password immediately. Tumblr officials have responded and have said that they’re working on an immediate fix:

Tumblr has responded with the following statement:

There is a viral post circulating on Tumblr which begins “Dearest ‘Tumblr’ users”. If you have viewed this post, please log out of all browsers that may be using Tumblr immediately. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue as swiftly as possible. Thank you.

Meantime, we advise you not to click on any of the links to Tumblr pages, and visit your Tumblr mass editor and delete all the posts that were not published by you. Also, avoid visiting individual Tumblrs’ and stay back on to the dashboard itself.

The hack is still being investigated, and we’ll update this article as soon as we obtain more information.

Twitter Blocks ‘Find Friends’ Service from Tumblr

When you sign up for a site like Tumblr, the first thing that you do after the registration process is find your friends from your existing social media accounts like Facebook and Twitter. However, the option to find your Twitter friends is no more to be supported on Tumblr. And yes, this is disappointing.

The popular social networking site Twitter has decided to revoke the friend-finding privilege from Tumblr, and this is perhaps the worst that Tumblr could expect. In a statement the company said that this move from Twitter is very upsetting even after being one of Twitter’s first partners.

Both Twitter and Tumblr have confirmed the removal. Tumblr issued the following statement to TheNextWeb:

To our dismay, Twitter has restricted our users’ ability to “Find Twitter Friends” on Tumblr. Given our history of embracing their platform, this is especially upsetting. Our syndication feature is responsible for hundreds of millions of tweets, and we eagerly enabled Twitter Cards across 70 million blogs and 30 billion posts as one of Twitter’s first partners. While we’re delighted by the response to our integrations with Facebook and Gmail, we are truly disappointed by Twitter’s decision.

The removal of friend-finding from Tumblr was noticed by Matt Buchanan, who tweeted “before” and “after” screenshots of the website’s “Find people you know” page:

Twitter Blocks 'Find Friends' API from Tumblr

Last month, Twitter delivered a similar blow to Instagram by disabling the “Find Twitter Friends” feature. Twitter, at that time, in repose to Instagram’s removal stated that “We understand that there’s great value associated with Twitter’s follow graph data, and we can confirm that it is no longer available within Instagram.”

Some Twitter employees appear disappointed with the decision. Immediately after the news broke out, Nick Bilton of The New York Times’ tweeted, “I don’t think people understand that Twitter is a start-up that has to make money, not a non-profit-up.” In reply to this, Twitter engineer Alex Choi replied, “I wholeheartedly agree, but this @tumblr business just stinks.

Tumblr Integrates Facebook Timeline, News Feed, and Ticker

Sharing posts to Facebook via Tumblr is now a “billion times” easier as Tumblr has announced its integration with Facebook Timeline. Now, Tumblr posts will appear on your Facebook Timeline, News Feed and Ticker when you chose to “send to Facebook.” This will also include Tumblr likes and replies, which will automatically appear on Facebook as well.

The world’s fastest growing blogging platform has friended Facebook, using the social networking giant’s Open Graph API to allow for post sharing via Facebook Timeline, News Feed and Ticker.

The new options included are –

  • Toggle “Send to Facebook” when posting
  • Share Replies on your Facebook Timeline
  • Share Likes on your Facebook Timeline

Tumblr Facebook Integration

Tumblr users can start using these new options, which are available in their blog settings. Users can adjust the setting to share posts on their Facebook Timeline.  If you’ve already linked your Tumblr account with Facebook, then you’ll get a notification that says, “We’ve improved Facebook sharing. Upgrade now.”

How to Integrate Tumblr with Your Facebook Timeline Profile

  • If you were already integrated with Facebook through Tumblr’s App, then you should see an update prompt once you log in to Tumblr (We’ve improved Facebook sharing. Upgrade now).
  • If you were not yet “connected” to Facebook, Go to Blog Settings >> Check the option “Share posts on your Timeline”

How to Integrate Tumblr with Your Facebook Timeline Page

  • Go to Blog Settings >> Check Share posts on your Timeline.
  • After you log in to Facebook you will see a message that says – “Tumblr would also like permission to: Manage your pages, Tumblr may login as any of your Pages, including (a list with your Pages). Click on Allow.”Facebook Tumblr Integration
  • Now, Go Back to your Tumblr and go to Blog Settings >> Scroll Down until your find the Facebook Option. You will now see a few more options, including a drop down menu, from which you will be able to choose which page (or profile) you will send your posts to.

The integration is completely optional, so users are not forced to open up their posts to Facebook. In the meantime, this integration with Facebook means a lot to Tumblr. The integration with Facebook will result in more referral traffic for Tumblr blogs. Tumblr hopes that users will auto share their posts in order to fetch more traffic through the social networking giant. The more contents shared the better traffic Tumblr will receive.

It’s a very smart move by the two sites, especially Tumblr. Several businesses that are using Facebook’s Open Graph apps have reported that the amount of traffic brought in by Facebook is getting better day by day, giving them an insight into user engagement within the social network.

Tumblr recently achieved a 20 billion posts milestone with more than 50 million blogs. It now hopes that many new blogs will be created with many new posts, including shares from friends without messing up Facebook pages with auto-updates.

So You Want to Kick the Google Habit? [Editorial]

Google-Logo

 

Google Everywhere

It is hard to go online today without touching one or more Google products or services. If it is not search, it may be email, YouTube, Blogger, Picasa, Docs, or Calendar. Google has truly blanketed us with their web-based app offerings. Heck, even the Google Doodle is a conversation topic!

In this editorial, I shall discuss how you can kick the Google habit, what I am using now as alternatives and why you probably won’t be able to replace certain Google products today. Ready to move away from Google? First, some background.

Why un-Google?

Some of the reasons I personally decided to look for alternatives:

  • Google became a part of virtually everything I did online. I used GMail, Google Reader, Google Finance, Blogger, Picasa, Picasa Web, Google Docs, Google Search, Google Calendar and Google Maps. I felt uncomfortable putting such a large portion of my online life in Google’s hands.
  • Google morphed from the cool little startup building fun stuff for consumers, to a dominant public company whose revenues essentially came from just one product. That’s the key most (96%) of its revenues (and profits) came from search advertising. In other words, it needed other ways to make money. The most obvious way to do so would be to extend the arm of advertising, their main revenue-generating product, into other products. I realized I was the merchandise.
  • Google seemed to get Apple and Facebook envy. Apple was growing rapidly across all their product lines and at very high profit margins, and Facebook was taking eyeballs and key talent away from Google. This led to some bad attempts to mock Apple and Facebook publicly, which of course delighted the Google developer and enthusiast community but came off as being negative to me. If you make a great product, you don’t need a negative campaign.
  • Aside from philosophy, some of the competing products started becoming better, and Google’s products started getting worse (more on that within my descriptions) prompting me to start Project Un-Google which was an effort to use fewer and fewer Google products, hopefully reaching a point where I did not depend on any Google product at all.

Whether it is for philosophy, or hedging your web app bets, it is good to know there is life outside Google when it comes to products and services online and offline. There is usually a strong resistance to change, especially if you have a long history with a product. There is a high cost for transferring the old stuff, and learning your way around a new product/service. However, these challenges are not insurmountable, and I hope you take a look at some or all of the products I list here as an alternative to Google. If you have ideas of other products I may not have mentioned, please let me know!

Popular Google products

Here are some of the Google products/services I will be comparing to competition:

  • Search
  • Picasa
  • GMail
  • Calendar
  • Documents
  • Groups
  • Finance
  • Blogger
  • Chrome
  • Maps/Directions
  • Talk/Chat/Voice

I realize Google has many more products, appsand services, but I did not look at products like Book Search which are very niche. My attempt here is to look at the commonly used products and services only.

Tumblr Crosses 250 Million Page Views Per Day

, the popular micro-blogging service just announced that it has crossed 250 million page-views per day. This is definitely big for the micro-blogging service which has seen several ups and downs in the past, including a fight with Anonymous and a very long downtime they suffered due to a database crash.

Tumblr 250 Million Daily Page Views

Tumblr’s growth has been phenomenal and they have managed to do more page-views than Posterous and more recently WordPress, though that might have changed now. However, the service is far from perfect and users are frequently greeted with a message saying that “Tumblr is down for some reason or the other” every now and then.

Tumblr though has managed to overcome several of their infrastructure problems to consistently grow over the last few months. For example, they grew from around 20 million views a day to 250 million views in less than a year. That is almost a 500% growth. Additionally, they have grown more than twice since October 2010.

Tumblr will definitely be happy about these stats, but I hope that they are taking very good care of their infrastructure too as it is really annoying to see that the site is not working when I visit them.

Google’s Blogger Might Be The Biggest Spam Source, But It Stays Up Alright

Google’s free blogging platform and competitor to WordPress, Blogger, might be one of the biggest source of spam websites and douche bags who leech our hard written work, but it surprisingly has a 100% uptime record in tests conducted over two months by Royal Pingdom.

Blogging Service Downtimes

In a new report released today, the folks at Pingdom tested several blogging platforms including Blogger, WordPress.com, TypePad, Tumblr and Posterours. Surprisingly they left out Drupal from their tests.

Nevertheless, according to their test results, the Blogger platform had the best uptime, which was 100% and was followed by WordPress and TypePad. The worst service was Tumblr, who have been facing some terrible downtimes due to database crashes and 4Chan rage. Over a period of two months, Tumblr was down for over 47.5 hours, their database outage itself had lasted for more than 24 hours.

WordPress and TypePad did have downtimes too, but they had fairly good uptimes at around 99.99%, so most of the downtimes were negligible. On the other hand Posterours were down for 2.1 hours in the past two hours, which is not bad considering that they are seeing a huge influx of casual bloggers posting there.

Overall, Blogger was the winner, however, the amount of spam out there is really concerning. One of the major reasons why you see more spam on Blogger is because unlike WordPress, free Blogger accounts can use advertisements on their websites. Hopefully, Google should work more towards cleaning up the spam on their property, after all they do that all the time for Google Search.

Despite Infrastructure Issues, Tumblr Has More Pageviews Than WordPress

Recent downtimes may have people thinking that Tumblr is a not-good-enough blogging platform. But they’ll be surprised to know that Tumblr brings in more page views then the otherwise most popular blogging network WordPress. According to a recent report by ReadWriteWeb, Tumblr brings in a total of 3 billion page views per month compared to a mere 1.4 billion page views of WordPress.

This does not however, is  proportional  to the number of visitors each network gets. Compared to 500 million unique visitors of  WordPress, Tumblr only gets 48.5 million unique visitors each month. WordPress also hosts a massive 30 million blogs compared to 11 million of Tumblr.

So what do these numbers tell us? WordPress may be a more popular choice for serious bloggers, but Tumblr is easy enough both for publishers and visitors that it generates much more page views. Amongst all these metrics, page views is one of the most important as it is almost directly relates to revenue. This also may be the reason why Tumblr is seeing an increased influx of VC money. The most recent round raised $30 Million for Tumblr and one of the most noteworthy facts about this funding is that a big chunk of it comes from Sequoia Capital, the VC firm behind Google, Apple, YouTube, PayPal and Zappos. When you get a name like Sequoia Capital backing your business, you are definitely doing something right.

Tumblr Comes Back Online

After an extended outage of almost a day or more, Tumblr is finally back up and kicking. The site though is not fully functional and seems to be coming up gradually.

Tumblr Up

So if you haven’t had a chance to post cute kitty pictures in the past 24 hours, you will get to do it pretty soon. You might also want to follow @tumblr on to get the latest updates from them.

The recovering database cluster is online and healthy. We’re incrementally opening up access to blogs while monitoring performance. (@tumblr on Twitter)

(Source: SAI via Techmeme / Image via Photobucket)

Its Not Just You, Tumblr Has Been Down For Several Hours

Tumblr, the blogging platform, has been down for at least last two hours and counting. The downtime error originally only appeared when new users tried to sign up or log into their dashboard (the Tumblr homepage was working fine) but after a few minutes the whole network collapsed.

An hour ago they finally issued a public statement via their Twitter account:

We’re working quickly to recover from a major issue in one of our database clusters. We’re incredibly sorry for the inconvenience.

This is the message one gets when trying to log onto tumblr:

It is a quite  embarrassing  state of affairs for a web service that is ranked amongst the top 50 in the world and is becoming increasingly popular as a medium of expression. As a tip, if you ever want to check whether a website is really down, http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com is a great tool to do so. The tool, as of now, confirms that Tumblr is down for every one.