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Tumblr Sells for a Song

New owner is parent of WordPress
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 12, 2019 7:00 PM CDT
Verizon, whose logo is shown over a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, is selling Tumblr.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – Buying Tumblr in 2013 required a check for more than $1 billion. It's selling again, but this time for not much of anything, the Wall Street Journal reports. Automattic—which owns WordPress, an online publishing tool—will absorb about 200 Tumblr employees. Yahoo, which wrote that check in 2013, was acquired in 2017 by Verizon, which struck the deal with Automattic. Terms weren't released. Yahoo had written off much of Tumblr's value, per the AP. Automattic's chief executive said he's a fan of Tumblr, which was an early social media hit. It's a free site that lets users upload photos, music and art. "It's just fun," Matt Mullenweg said. "We’re not going to change any of that." It's Automattic's biggest acquisition yet.

Tumblr is known for having devoted users, including celebrities, and it's still relevant. Just this summer, Taylor Swift took her beef with a music mogul to Tumblr. But the blogging site has been overwhelmed by the social media competition. And some users were displeased last year when Verizon prohibited adult content on Tumblr. That policy will remain. Automattic said it will look for ways WordPress and Tumblr might share functionality, per the Journal. (Read more Tumblr stories.)

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