Yahoo's Acquisition of Tumblr and the Semantic Web

David Amerland of Imassera recently wrote, "It seems that $1 billion plus change these days is what’s required to buy a photo-sharing app (if you’re Facebook), a global phone manufacturer (if you’re Google) or a microblogging site (if you happen to be Yahoo). Beyond the jaw-dropping numbers that are casually bandied around for these acquisitions lies a game plan that has every major player struggling to position themselves for relevance and longevity in the semantic web. This ‘new’ web is characterized by two related things: data and connectivity and these happen to be the exact same building blocks out of which web verticals are created."

He continues, "Despite its diminished stature in search Yahoo continues to be a major web player and Marisa Mayer, its CEO, knows that if the company is ever to regain its past glory it has to redefine itself in the semantic web. To do that it needs data and connectivity, two things which its tiny share of the search market cannot give it. To compensate Yahoo is willing to put down some cold, hard cash for Tumblr. A website that alongside Stumbleupon has been responsible for driving traffic to a sizeable portion of sites on the web. Tumblr’s popularity has transformed it as the portal of choice for many of the web’s best publications Wired, and Fast Company, amongst them and the vast selection of material that is re-shared through its servers means that Tumblr is sitting pretty upon a pile of data which, should it be mined properly, can deliver some pretty convincing semantic connections to its owner. Why is any of this important at all? Because the semantic web is transforming not just the way search works but the way every available service on it will work in future."

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Image: Courtesy Tumblr