Automaticc, the Parent Company of WordPress buys Tumblr.
The rumors of Verizon selling Tumblr turned out to have merit. Verizon (Engadget’s parent company) is selling the social network to Automattic, the company behind the blogging tool WordPress for a Deal Reportedly Far Less Than 2013’s $1.1 Billion Sale.
Automattic will take on 200 Tumblr employees as part of its deal with Verizon. “[Tumblr] has been so successful already, and we want to keep that going,” Mullenweg said.
Automaticc CEO Matt Mullenweg said in a statement on Monday that Tumblr, which has 475 million blogs on its service, represents an “iconic” brand known for helping people share ideas, culture and experiences.
Tumblr was founded in 2007 by David Karp. Yahoo bought Tumblr in 2013. Verizon acquired Tumblr when it purchased Yahoo in 2017.
It’s a low-key end to a long, rough chapter in Tumblr’s history. Yahoo bought the site in 2013 for a hefty $1.1 billion, but never really found a way to compete with the explosive growth of social networks like Instagram. Some features felt tacked on to seize on momentary trends. Yahoo would eventually write off about $230 million of the site’s value in 2016, and things didn’t improve when Verizon bought Yahoo. Its user base is still large with 475.1 million blogs, but it’s not the force it was in its heyday.
Verizon owns Engadget’s parent company, Verizon Media. Rest assured, Verizon has no control over our coverage. Engadget remains editorially independent.
Automattic oversees several publishing companies in addition to WordPress, including long-form site Longreads, a comment filtering and tracking service, and an avatar generator.
Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg told the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news of the sale, that he intends to keep the ban in place.