Tumblr sold by Verizon to WordPress owners

Tumblr has seen a slight decline in numbers thanks to changes to rejection of adult content. And now, after all this, Yahoo’s parent company Verizon is letting the site go. The company had Tumblr sold at a loss to Auttomatic, owners of WordPress.

When Yahoo bought Tumblr six years ago, it paid $1.1 billion to acquire the social media company. While actual numbers haven’t been disclosed, Auttomatic is paying much less to take Tumblr off Verizon’s hands. According to the Wall Street Journal, the former will pay less than $10 million to buy it.

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Verizon, who bought Yahoo in 2017, had been struggling to figure out how to turn Tumblr into a significant revenue-generating site for some time now.  As part of this, it controversially decided to ban adult content from Tumblr last year in an attempt to make it more attractive to advertisers. Additionally, it also had gotten banned from Apple’s App Store for issues with child pornography. This move however resulted in the opposite of what Verizon hoped, with visits to the site dropping significantly. Analytics site SimilarWeb reported that visits had dropped from 521 million last December, to just 381 million this past July.

Despite this however, Auttomatic stated that it has no plans to reverse the decision to ban NSFW and adult content on Tumblr. Instead, the company’s CEO Matt Mullenweg told the Wall Street Journal that it intends to figure out ways to integrate Tumblr and WordPress. Both of these decisions will likely not sit well with both existing Tumblr users, as well as those who have left the site.

Despite this, Auttomatic still looks optimistic about its purchase of Tumblr.

“Tumblr is one of the web’s most iconic brands,” stated Mullenweg. “It is an essential venue to share new ideas, cultures and experiences, helping millions create and build communities around their shared interests.”