Services & Software

Report: Facebook and Microsoft flirting with Tumblr too

It's a love square, with three of the industry's biggest players competing for the popular blogging platform.

Tumblr CEO David Karp speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York.
Shara Tibken/CNET

Yahoo isn't the only tech titan with eyes for blogging sensation Tumblr. The 6-year-old startup that powers nearly 108 million blogs has piqued the curiosity of both Facebook and Microsoft who seem ready to duke it out over the object of their affection, according to a new report.

The Thursday night rumor mill had Yahoo ready to commit to a Tumblr partnership, investment, or possibly even a $1 billion purchase. Now Forbes is reporting Tumblr has entertained equally serious gestures from Facebook and Microsoft.

Yahoo has a lock on negotiations, according to Forbes, which means Tumblr can't field offers from the Sunnyvale, Calif., company's competitors unless a deal falls through. And, sadly for the social network and software maker, Yahoo Chief Marissa Mayer is reportedly pushing hard to make a Tumblr purchase happen tout de suite.

Why so much competition for Tumblr's attention? Teens find the blogging platform to be quite fetch, which means Tumblr offers all three players immediate access to a key demographic. Tumblr members also spend more time on the blogging platform -- 14 minutes per visit -- than they do on Twitter or Facebook, Tumblr Chief Executive David Karp said recently.

Tumblr, meanwhile, is just getting started with an advertising business that isn't yet paying the bills, which means it may be feeling the heat from investors who have pumped $125 million into the company. Tumblr made $13 million in 2012 and hopes to grow revenue to $100 million this year.