Kerns said the goal was to infuse the creative credo of the Tumblr platform with Yahoo Gemini data to elevate native ad placements.
Tumblr's strength is its role as a distribution network, Mayer noted during Yahoo's mid-April earnings call. "We saw 122% growth in Tumblr's mobile engagement vs. Q1 of 2013. In Q1, we also announced that we would be bringing native ads to Tumblr powered by Yahoo's ad technology." Those in-stream units are measured on a cost-per-engagement (re-blog, etc.) actions both on desktop and mobile.
Yahoo's mobile growth story will be the key one to watch here, particularly as it pertains to Tumblr's future. Mayer pinned Yahoo's mobile user base at 430 million actives, up from 400 million in Q4. Comparatively speaking, Twitter during its latest earnings call revealed its mobile monthly active users totaled 198 million while Facebook crept past the whopping 1 billion mark last quarter in monthly active mobile users.
As more social platforms push to be mobile-first (and with Facebook dominating the pack) the competition for mobile ad dollars is steep. According to comScore's 2014 US Digital Future in Focus report, among the larger social networks, LinkedIn and Tumblr "maintain a majority share on desktop, while… Instagram, Snapchat and Vine are almost exclusively mobile."