Who could be surprised?
In a move that capitalizes on Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s recent acquisition of Tumblr, it has been announced that native ads will begin to appear across Yahoo properties. Yahoo bought Tumblr more than a year ago for $1.1 billion in cash.
The “sponsored posts” will seek to amplify the strengths of both platforms: Yahoo’s massive traffic and data and the engagement levels of Tumblr’s platform. Yahoo will offer the ads to marketers through its Gemini platform, which launched in February.
“Through Yahoo Gemini, now the same posts — articles, images or videos — can be promoted through native ads across Yahoo’s content streams, article pages, image galleries and digital magazines, on desktop, mobile and tablets,” Yahoo stated in a recent media announcement. “Yahoo’s data makes it easy for brands to reach the right audiences at scale with seamless, impactful native ads that drive engagement.”
In Cannes at the International Festival of Creativity, considered to be one of the most prestigious ad awards events of the year, Mayer appeared to be there to talk up Tumblr as a place where creative marketers might flourish.
“Tumblr is this incredibly powerful platform for brands that is unconstrained by pixel limits,” Mayer said.
While some analysts have reported that Tumblr’s traffic has leveled off, Yahoo claims current measurements do not capture all of the site’s visitors. Tumblr remains a popular web destination, ranking No. 18 in the U.S. and No. 35 in the world, according to web analytics firm Alexa.
Yahoo’s most recent earnings report showed that display advertising revenue ticked up 2 percent, although its price per ad declined.
Designing a way to generate cash from Tumblr will be an important step for Yahoo. Tumblr founder David Karp recently spoke to the New York Times, saying Yahoo has lived up to its promise not to make major changes to the blogging site. But he did note that the pressure of proving itself as a business was still a concern.
“The stakes are as high as they’ve ever been,” Karp said.