In May 2013, tech firm Yahoo agreed to buy blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1bn, with the former company’s then-CEO Marissa Meyer promising “not to screw it up”. How did that go? Well, in 2017 Yahoo was bought by US telco Verizon, and now in 2019 Verizon is selling Tumblr again… for reportedly less than $10m. Ouch.
The buyer is at least a company that knows something about this blogging business: Automattic, the parent company of blogging platform WordPress.
“I’m very excited about Tumblr’s next chapter,” tweeted current Tumblr CEO Jeff D’Onofrio as the news broke. “I’m most excited for what this means for the entire Tumblr community. There is much more to do to make your experience a better one, and I’m super confident that we are in great hands with this news. Tumblr and Wordpress share common founding principles. The plane has landed on a friendly runway. Now it is time to freshen up the jets.” Although reports suggest that one way those jets WON’T be freshened up is by relaxing the ban on adult content that Verizon put in place in late 2018, and which reportedly lost the service 20% of its visitors.