US tech giant Yahoo has confirmed that it has snapped up Tumblr in a $1.1bn deal as it promises “not to screw it up”.
The sale will reportedly net the blogging site's 26-year-old founder, New Yorker David Karp, a $250m fortune six years after he started it and will give Yahoo its own social media platform as it seeks to attract younger and trendier internet users in a bid to match rivals Google and Facebook.
Best known for its clean, simplistic design, Tumblr today claims to host more than 108 million blogs, with over 50 billion posts and its roster of celebrity users features pop singer Beyonce and media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Yahoo said in a statement: "Per the agreement and our promise not to screw it up, Tumblr will be independently operated as a separate business. David Karp will remain CEO."
In his blog on Tumblr, Karp announced: "I'm elated to tell you that Tumblr will be joining Yahoo."
The message went on to promise users of the site that it would not "compromise" on its vision of making the site the "ultimate creative canvas" before signing off "F*** yeah, David".
Described as "one of the fastest-growing media networks in the world", Tumblr boasts more than 300 million monthly unique visitors and 120,000 sign-ups every day.
But it has struggled to convert a fast growing user base into revenues – a common feature among even the most popular social networks.
Yahoo has 700 million customers worldwide and employs 11,500 people in 26 countries, including the UK where it has an office in London, but it has been under pressure to innovate to better compete with its internet rivals, and brought in former Google executive Marissa Mayer as chief executive in 2012 to shake up the company.
Executives believes today's deal will grow Yahoo's audience by 50 per cent to more than a billion monthly users, and grow traffic by around 20 per cent. It will also result in "seamless" advertising opportunities, the company said.
Mayer said: "On many levels, Tumblr and Yahoo couldn't be more different, but, at the same time, they couldn't be more complementary. Yahoo is the Internet's original media network. Tumblr is the internet's fastest-growing media frenzy."
Karp added: "Our mission; to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve; certainly isn't changing.
"But we're elated to have the support of Yahoo and their team who share our dream to make the internet the ultimate creative canvas."