Belfast Telegraph

Yahoo owner sells Tumblr microblogging site

The firm behind Wordpress.com is buying the platform, two years after Verizon acquired it as part of the Yahoo takeover.

Verizon is to sell Tumblr for undisclosed terms (Andy Hepburn/PA)
Verizon is to sell Tumblr for undisclosed terms (Andy Hepburn/PA)

By Jamie Harris, PA Science Technology Reporter

Microblogging platform Tumblr is being sold off by American telecommunications company Verizon, just two years after it was acquired as part of its Yahoo takeover.

Automattic, the firm behind blogging service WordPress.com, will gain ownership of Tumblr, which its chief executive described as “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have two beloved platforms work alongside each other to build a better, more open, more inclusive – and, frankly, more fun web”.

Announcing the deal on Tumblr, Matt Mullenweg said: “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.”

Launched in 2007, Tumblr is one of the internet’s earlier microblogging websites, currently hosting some 475 million blogs, and famously used by the likes of Taylor Swift and Barack Obama.

Under Verizon’s ownership the site underwent some big changes, notably deciding to ban all pornographic content from its platform after child abuse was uncovered late last year.

Tumblr boss Jeff D’Onofrio said he was confident the platform is “in great hands”.

“I’m very excited about Tumblr’s next chapter and looking forward to working with @photomatt and the entire team at Automattic,” he wrote on Twitter.

“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.”

The deal’s value has not been disclosed, but reports suggest it could be less than 3 million dollars – a far cry from the 1.1 billion dollars Yahoo spent buying Tumblr in 2013.

“We are proud of what the team has accomplished and are happy to have found the perfect partner in Automattic, whose expertise and track record will unlock new and exciting possibilities for Tumblr and its users,” said Verizon Media chief executive Guru Gowrappan.

PA

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