Automattic, the parent company of the popular online publishing platform WordPress, has agreed to buy microblogging service Tumblr from current owner Verizon for an undisclosed sum, it was reported Monday.
Automattic buys Tumblr for a "nominal amount" and will retain about 200 employees as part of the deal, according to The Wall Street Journal . The blogging service has changed hands three times in six years.
While the terms of sale were not disclosed, Automattic is likely to pay significantly less than $ 1.1 billion as Yahoo's site control notice in 2013. At that time, it promised the one-time Internet search manager "don't screw it up," referring to its earlier handling of the photo sharing site Flickr.
Verizon took control of Tumblr as part of a $ 4.48 billion package deal for Yahoo's core business in 2017. The move was designed to relay the mobile operator's digital advertising and media efforts.
Verizon began the search for a buyer earlier this year, according to representative Ort, who cited a source familiar with the matter as saying that Tumblr's final sale price is not "important" to the wireless carrier.
A follow-up report from Axios puts the figure at "well below" $ 20 million.
Tumblr enjoyed early success as a major player in the social media landscape, but has since been eclipsed by more popular platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Although it currently hosts more than 450 million blogs, the service is unable to make a substantial profit, Axios .
Last year, Tumblr adopted a blanket ban on adult content following criticism over escaping police work of illegal images, a partial shift prompted by Apple's decision to remove the service's app from the iOS App Store due to failed child pornography filters. Users pondered the change in policy and took other social media platforms to mock the company's singling out of "female presenting nipples" as a ban.
App Store removal and subsequent adult content bans led to a significant reduction in user engagement.