Yahoo Buys Tumblr, Prompting 40 Million 20-Year-Olds to Ask: “Ya who?”

The most fascinating news from around the Web on May 20, 2013

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  1. Let’s Get Ready to Tumbl

    Today, another large deal was made in a bid to make history in the Internet championship of the world. In this corner, we have Yahoo, an aging heavyweight with a new, compelling CEO looking to get some youthful power in her knockout punch by adding Tumblr, a young company run by a young high school dropout-turned programmer-turned CEO of a company with about 40 million youngish users. And in this corner, we have the other Internet heavyweights like Google and Facebook who are extending their leads and threatening to knock Yahoo down to the welterweight division. Let’s get ready to Tumbl… Whether or not the deal turns out to be a knockout (or at least get Yahoo back in the ring with the other heavyweights) will depend on the company’s ability to monetize those young users (without alientating them from the brand). The prize money paid out by Yahoo was a cool $1.1 billion. Ultimately, Yahoo did the deal to get into social networking, create more advertising inventory, and because upon hearing the news, 40 million twenty year-olds said, “Ya who?”

    + Tumblr CEO David Karp announced the news by promising the service would stay independent. He also added, “F*ck Yeah.”

    + On her Tumblr, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer wrote: “We promise not to screw it up.”

    + And if we’re talking about the acquisition of a blogging/social player like Tumblr, we should probably see what WordPress’ Matt Mullenweg has to say on the matter: “Normally we import 400-600 posts an hour from Tumblr, last hour it was over 72,000.”

  2. The Endless Trip

    In 1987, a college freshmen decided to take a little trip on psychedelics. It was a pretty good trip, but when he woke up the next morning, he realized some of the effects hadn’t stopped. And that state went on and on. “He quit school, moved back home, and entered rehab. His search for a diagnosis came up empty: no underlying medical condition, nor had the drug been laced with something sinister. Weeks, months, then years went by.” The New Yorker’s Dorian Rolston on a trip that doesn’t end.

  3. You Be Illin’

    “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” And I’ll give them heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and a shorter lifespan. A growing body of research suggests that there is often a high health toll when it comes to coming to America.

    + Is a fashion model more likely to get an H-1B visa than a computer programmer?

  4. Beaver’s Broke

    While many of our poverty programs target dense urban areas, it turns out that most of our poverty is now targeting the suburbs. “Today, more poor people live in the suburbs than in U.S. cities despite the perception that poverty remains a uniquely urban problem.”

  5. Faceplant

    “By Aug. 18, Facebook lost about $50 billion in value. But many big investors made huge profits betting against the company.” A year later, The Atlantic’s Khadeeja Safdar provides the very interesting backstory on what really happened in the biggest IPO flop ever. (And reminds us how little the average investor knows when it comes to the market.)

  6. Portland’s Drinking Problem

    Just about every major health organization is behind fluoridated water and the CDC called the fluoridation measures that spread across the country “one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.” So what’s with Portland? Who knows? Maybe Portland will turn out to be right and we shouldn’t be drinking fluoride (the flossing thing is obviously a hoax).

  7. The Nut Cracker

    In his new book (excerpted here in Wired), Allen Frances — The Chairman of the DSM-IV Task Force and former head of Duke’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science — expresses his concern about the medicalization of normal life. “Turning difference into illness was among the great strokes of marketing genius in our time.”

    + The CDC says 20 percent of U.S. kids have mental health disorders.

  8. Animals + Internet

    InFocus has a great collection of entries from the National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest. Take a break and check these out. The first one alone will make your day.

  9. Zach’s Gal

    A few years ago, Zach Galifianakis struck up a friendship with an 87 year-old laundry worker. When he realized she was homeless, he rented her an apartment. She’ll also be his date for the premiere of the new Hangover film in LA. She’s been his date for a couple other premieres as well, but no one knew who she was.

  10. The Bottom of the News

    A guy left his GoPro video camera on a rock to capture some nature scenes. A three-year-old brown bear decided it might make a decent snack. Some days, I’d like to see a Grizzly just munch down all of social media. In the meantime, do me a favor and share NextDraft on Facebook. (Trust me, that segue hurt me more than you.)

    + ProTip for anyone thinking of stealing a car. Don’t dial 911 yourself and then leave your phone on throughout the robbery. ProTip for the lawyer who represents these guys. Don’t let them take the stand.

    + MoJo tracked down their biggest troll (and sort of liked him).

    + Sasha Frere-Jones on Daft Punk’s new release: “This record raises a radical question: Does good music need to be good?”