Over on the Yahoo! Tumblr (I didn’t know they had one but I guess it makes sense?) the acquisition has been announced. I like this part of the announcement:
“We promise not to screw it up.”
We’ll see about that. To recap, Yahoo! wants to power the ad network for Tumblr to reap the benefit of the eyeballs of the 18-24 year old market. The user experience of Twitter didn’t get better with promoted tweets, Facebook’s ads are largely ineffective because they end up being kind of creepy, and the only ads that seem to be truly useful are Google’s but that’s usually because you use them when you actively want to buy something. From a user perspective I don’t see how more ads will make Tumblr any more appealing to the end user than it is today.
The price of a free service to the end user is advertising. The price of a paid service to a service provider is fewer customers. As with many things, advertisers still pay more to a service than end users do.