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Verizon sells Tumblr for a pittance of what it was once worth

Wordpress parent company Automattic is taking the embattled free blogging site Tumblr off Verizon’s hands for perhaps less than 2% of what it was once worth.

Verizon sells Tumblr for a pittance of what it was once worth
[Photo: StockSnap/Pixabay]
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In 2013, Yahoo snapped up free blogging platform Tumblr for $1.1 billion. Now it’s worth less than 2% of that sum, with Automattic, the parent of blogging giant WordPress, buying the site for “well below” $20 million, per a report by Axios. Automattic confirmed the details to Fast Company, and Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg wrote about the acquisition on—where else?—his Tumblr.

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Tumblr’s fortunes declined with Yahoo’s, which sold for a fraction of its erstwhile value to Verizon in 2017. Under Verizon, Tumblr’s introduction of an NSFW content ban in late 2018 was followed by an exodus of kinky blogs, and a roughly one-third traffic drop by April 2019. Automattic also forbids porn on sites it hosts. But Tumblr may have better prospects with an owner who actually wants it, rather than a conglomerate that got stuck with it.

About the author

Sean Captain is a Bay Area technology, science, and policy journalist. Follow him on Twitter @seancaptain.

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