co Will Yahoo! Screw Up Tumblr? |

USA Today reported today that Yahoo! has purchased Tumblr for $1.1 billion. The funny thing is they promise “not to screw it up.”

People who have followed Yahoo! around for the past decade understand that comment. They have a bad habit of buying up properties only to close them down or do nothing with them. It’s a running joke in Internet marketing circles.

Joke aside, however, is it possible that Yahoo! could renege on its promise? It’s possible, but I don’t think it’s likely to happen because there’s a new CEO at the helm. Marissa Mayer, a former Googler, understands the value of high profile acquisitions. By virtue of her place at Google for so many years, she knows a good thing when she sees it. Now is her time to prove it.

Something caught my eye in the USA Today article, though.

Tumblr is also ahead of Yahoo in chasing after customers who use smartphones to access their sites, Mayer said. More than half of Tumblr’s users are using the mobile app and conduct an average of seven sessions per day, Mayer said.

This could be an opportunity for Yahoo! to capture the smartphone market. If so many Tumblr users are tuned into their smartphones, then it could be the place where Yahoo! shines in terms of future revenue and market share. Yahoo!’s advertising model is way less expensive than Google’s. The question is, how will they capitalize in their differences in the coming decade?