At CES this year Yahoo unveiled its new Tech and Food vertical news and information sites, which feature a visual-heavy redesign that resembles Flipboard somewhat but with more of an online news site vibe. Today, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer reiterated that the sites are based on a Tumblr backend, which marks a departure from the typically personal or informal use of the lightweight blogging platform as a CMS, and shared some traction figures around the sites.
Yahoo also provided some updates about the traffic being generated by the Tech and Food sites, which feature content from big-name hires made last year including former NYT columnist David Pogue and TV news anchor Katie Couric. Yahoo has seen over 10 million uniques in the less than a month since the launch of the two new sites, Yahoo revealed. To put that in perspective, the entire NYT website claims 31 million monthly uniques, according to its official media kit.
Mayer also discussed Tumblr’s overall performance, perhaps as a way to respond to speculation in the media that the blogging site is facing growth stagnation. Tumblr’s user base has grown 30 percent since March last year, Mayer says, and usage on mobile is faring even better, with over 50 percent growth between the same time and today. Last week, comScore numbers published by Forbes suggested growth might be flat, but Yahoo’s Tumblr team said that engagement is actually up 51 percent overall and 251 percent on mobile, citing data not properly captured by comScore as the reason for the discrepancy.
Mayer reiterated multiple times during the call that mobile and social are the key to Yahoo’s continued growth, and figuring out how the right way to advertise on that platform is clearly going to be a big priority. Already, Mayer says branded content on Tumblr is seeing huge uptake, so clearly the company thinks it’s addressing that opportunity correctly.
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