WordPress owner is buying Tumblr

Business

13 Aug 2019

Tumblr just got sold to WordPress owner for peanuts

Tumblr, the popular microblogging and social networking site owned by Verizon, is being sold to Automattic Inc., the company that owns blogging tool WordPress.

The decision to sell the platform was made by Verizon merely two years after the carrier had bought the service as part of the deal to acquire Yahoo, which previously owned Tumblr.

Here's all about the deal.

Deal

Automattic Inc. reportedly paid less than $3 million for Tumblr

Automattic Inc. reportedly paid less than $3 million for Tumblr

Verizon's move to sell Tumblr off to Automattic was first revealed by The Wall Street Journal.

However, the outlet didn't specifically say how much the WordPress owner has agreed to pay for the deal.

Some reports indicate that the paid amount is around $3 million, which is way less than the $1.1 billion that Yahoo paid for the service in 2013.

Issue

Tumblr's user-base has plummeted of late

Going by reports, Verizon started looking for Tumblr buyers after December when the microblogging site banned all sorts of adult content.

The service was once a dominant force in the microblogging scene, a place where LGBTQ community could come, connect, and socialize with those sharing the same interests.

However, the ban triggered a wave of criticism, with many users ditching the service for good.

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Possibility

Will the ban go away with this deal?

Tumblr's fall might be restored with the removal of the ban, but Automattic's CEO Matt Mullenweg says that he intends to make no changes to that end.

"Adult content is not our forte either, and it creates a huge number of potential issues with app stores, payment providers, trust and safety," he told Hacker News, noting that the ban won't be revoked.

Plan

Tumblr will act as complementary site for WordPress

Tumblr will act as complementary site for WordPress

Mullenweg emphasized that Tumblr's functions would be leveraged to complement WordPress.

The Journal's report indicates that they might share some of each others' functions, like Tumblr's mobile platform could provide access to WordPress mobile, but the exact details of the plan still remain unclear.

"Tumblr and WordPress have always been very philosophically aligned," Mullenweg said, adding that he is committed to preserving Tumblr's community.

Here's what Verizon CEO Guru Gowrappan said about the deal

"Tumblr is a marquee brand that has started movements, allowed for true identities to blossom and become home to many creative communities and fandoms. We are proud of what the team has accomplished and are happy to have found the perfect partner in Automattic."

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