Billion dollar acquisitions in the tech world can mean a lot more than big companies looking for a new revenue stream, or a small group of entrepreneurs coming into (a lot of) new money. These acquisitions, particularly within the social media landscape, are often massive indicators of the next “big thing”. Last year there was Facebook’s notorious purchase of Instagram which underscored the prevalence of visual content, and the power of mobile technology. So what’ll it be this year? We think it may have just happened, with Yahoo’s purchase of Tumblr.
Yahoo will be doling out a cool 1.1 billion dollars for the New York based blogging platform. While this massive price tag may have raised an eyebrow or two, it’s not so crazy when you think about Tumblr’s 300+ million monthly unique visitors and the hundreds of thousands of new blogs created each day. Significant growth data from Tumblr and a slew of other emerging platforms such as Vine, SnapChat and WhatsApp prove that teens are flocking to different social media platforms than older generations.
A big part of it has to do with the mass mainstream adoption of social networks such as Facebook – everyone’s mother, brother and grandmother is on it…literally. For many teens, sharing content with their friends just isn’t “cool” when their family can see and comment on it. By using other platforms, ones that Mom isn’t aware of (YET) like Tumblr, they can avoid potential embarrassment and maintain their 'social media cred'.
That’s not to say that Facebook isn’t valuable anymore, because it is. But teens are, and will continue to look for new ways to express themselves online. Big players in the online space are taking cues from these youngsters who so confidently drive trends in the social media sphere - exhibit A: Tumblr. And, all that is to say, when big acquisitions in the online world take place, take notice. Just don’t tell your Mom about it!