Verizon is selling blogging website Tumblr to the web service company Automatic, the owner of blogging platform WordPress.com.
The sale price was not disclosed, but reports estimate it was under $10 million, a far cry from the $1.1 billion Yahoo paid for Tumblr in 2013. Verizon acquired Tumbler as part of its acquisition of Yahoo in 2017.
Automatic is expected to bring some 200 Tumblr employees on board with the deal. Automatic’s business, in addition to WordPress.com, include WooCommerce, Jetpack, Simplenote, and Longreads.
Tumblr is the second major Yahoo property to be unloaded by Verizon: The photo sharing site Flickr as sold to SmugMug in April 2018.
It was widely known that Verizon wanted to sell Tumbler since the purchase in 2017. Tumblr hosts some 475 million blogs, with a blend of text, images, and video content. The only other company to have shown interest was PornHub, an adult site.
Verizon Media decided in December 2018 to ban adult content from Tumbler, which analysts viewed as a last-ditch effort in trying to make the platform a safer place for advertising. Automatic has no plans to allow not-suitable-for-work content on Tumbler.
In July 2019, the site had 381 million total visits, which was down from 521 million in December 2018, according to the analytics firm SimilarWeb.
Tumblr will also act as a “complementary” site to WordPress, which means the possibility of sharing services and functionality.
Founded in 2007 as one of the first “microblogging services,” Tumbler was once a major influence in the blogging and social media sector, but it became less so under the ownership of Yahoo and Verizon.
In the meantime, platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube moved in to fill the void, and became much larger social media and cultural forces, says recent analysis from Instagram growth service Buzzoid.
However, Tumbler still has a very active and dedicated community that Automatic plans to expand.