Yahoo…interesting.

So Yahoo acquired Tumblr, and overhauled Flickr. Both action merit some thoughts.

First Tumblr.
I’m not sure what Marissa Mayer is thinking, but I have no doubt that she has a plan. She said that Tumblr would basically stay an independent company, and that ads would not be intrusive. Most people on Tumblr should be able to live with that.
Tumblr made about 13 million last year. Considering the price tag of 1,1 billion, I don’t quite know what her plan is, but I guess that she will ramp up the advertising gradually. Maybe that’s not even her end goal. I think her vision is much deeper and long term.
I believe she wants to build a, forgive me, walled garden much like Google, Apple, and Facebook are doing.
It makes sense. She now has search and advertising, web mail, a vibrant social network, and a great photo sharing/storing service – which brings me to

Flickr.
Flickr was stuck in 2005, but with the major redesign and focus on the presentation, plus the 1 terabyte every user gets for free, this looks like it could be a viable alternative to Facebook and Google. Especially if Yahoo keeps privacy on this, and the other services, a priority. Let’s be honest: no one like Google or Facebook mining everything you do online to serve you ads. Yahoo has an opportunity here to be the nice guy on the block.
In the short term Flickr now seems like a genuine alternative, even for pros, to store their full-sized pictures online.
I’m not a pro photographer, but I do have about 800 GB of photos in Aperture. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to back them up in another place besides my TimeMachine backup? I think it might.

Marissa Mayer’s Yahoo will look very different in a few years…months? She’s building something huge.

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