Verizon Communication has agreed to sell blogging website Tumblr to Automattic, the parent company of WordPress. Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 Billion and Verizon had acquired Yahoo for $4.48 billion two years ago. While Tumblr was found in 2017, after its NFSW content ban, its traffic has reduced substantially.
Automattic bought Tumblr for an undisclosed amount where it will take on its 200 employees. The news was announced by Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg in Tumblr post. The telecom carrier was seeking for the buyer earlier this year.
“Our teams are hard at work right now to make this transition smooth for everyone at Tumblr, and while we have many details to iron out, one thing we’re absolutely committed to is to preserve the passion and sense of community that so many people around the world – and all over the web – have come to associate with Tumblr.,” Mr. Mullenweg said in the post.
It’s the biggest acquisition by the WordPress till now. Over the years, rival competitors such as Reddit, Squarespace, and Medium are giving a tight fight to Tumblr which is ultimately decreasing its hold over the market. According to the Wall Street Journal, price “isn’t the material” for Verizon.
Yahoo bought Tumblr in 2013 but it failed to generate the expected profit. It wrote down its value by $236 Million in 2016. Verizon’s Media Group is focusing on establishing its footprint in the media business with Yahoo Subscriptions and Huffpost services. Its fourth-quarter revenue was 2.9% from last year.
Tumblr’s chief executive Jeff D’Onofrio welcomed the acquisition. “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,” he said.
Talking about the change in the Tumblr porn ban, WordPress executive said that they don’t have any plan to reverse it.