Tumblr, a one-off darling on social media, sold for a whopping $ 1.1 billion ($ 1.75 billion) in 2013. On Monday, in perhaps the latest highlight of his downfall, the site reportedly was bought for just $ 3m.
Twitter didn't miss a beat, pointing out that Tumble's reported sales price was lower than that of the blue tunnel. BuzzFeed compiled a list of seven condoms you can buy in New York for the same price as Tumblr.
So how did this happen? How does Tumblr – a once successful startup over the Internet – get swallowed by the owner of WordPress, another blogging giant and a former Tumblr rival?
Let's start with the early days of Tumblr. Website launched in 2007 under David Karp, who dropped out of high school at the age of 15 and outgrown Tumblr and works when he was 20. In an interview in 2011, Karp said he wanted to set up a blog, but didn't think traditional, long-formats like WordPress were appropriate.
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"I had all these great videos, links and projects I wanted to put out there, and I had a really hard time doing it," Karp told the .net magazine in 2011. "I wanted to do something different. I was determined not to compete with WordPress. "
The site has been steaming since popular bloggers and the entire university uploaded content to Tumblr. Musicians, photographers and writers followed suit.
At the beginning of 2010, Tumblr received 100 million impressions each month, according to Karp's 2011 interview. By the end of the year it reached 3 billion. The platform has reached the fashion world as well, and Tumble eventually hired a fashion director and started sending high-profile bloggers to events such as Fashion Week in York.
The popularity paid off. In 2013, Yahoo bought Tumblr for $ 1.1 billion. But Yahoo has finally written off much of Tumblr's value. Verizon took over Tumblr in 2017 when it acquired Yahoo.
Then, this week, Automattic, which owns WordPress, took over Tumblr for an undisclosed sum and brought in about 200 employees. Automattic did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the sale price.
Automattic's chief executive, Matt Mullenweg, told Wall Street Journal that he has long been a user of Tumblr and sees the site as complementary to WordPress.
"It's just fun," Mullenweg told Tumblr. "We will not change any of that."
Tumble has struggled to keep up with other social media giants such as Twitter, Facebook and Reddit. But the policy change for 2018 has alienated many of its users and longtime supporters.
Last December, Tumble announced a ban on nudity, which included photos, videos and GIFs of the genitals and female nipples, as well as any visual displays of sexual acts. At the time, Chief Executive Officer D & # 39; Onofrio wrote that "there is no shortage of adult content web pages. We will leave them to you and focus our efforts on creating the most attractive environment possible for our community ".
Until the ban, sex-targeted subcultures and pornography were permitted on the site. One BuzzFeed the reporter estimates there are hundreds of thousands of blogs to be closed, plus millions of individual posts containing adult content. (Mullenweg said The magazine that his company plans to keep the ban.)
Like what The Washington Post wrote last year, Tumblr has long been considered a safe space for identity research. But some creatives have said that the ban on Tumble is eliminated where LGBT communities and other people with marginalized sex and sexual identities find support.
"It was a safe place to research things on the Internet that I wouldn't want to try [in] real life, where it couldn't be realistically safe, "said one user, who called himself Tumblr's Mutabeer and asked not to be named for fear of professional repercussions. Fasting & # 39;is Abby Olheimer.
"More importantly, it was a way for me to connect with other like-minded people."
Mutabeer told his followers that he was leaving the site after the ban was announced.
If last year's ban added to Tumblr's fall, Monday's sale was the last blow. After Axios editor Dan Primak reported that Tumbler was selling for less than $ 3 million, one Twitter user commenting that "Tumbler porn blogs could literally have GoFundMe buy the whole platform".
"I am extremely upset that no one told us Tumblr was for sale for the amount we could have of Kickstarter," said another.
Granted, not all were sold. He also said: "The most interesting thing about Tumble's acquisition is that everyone on Twitter obviously has more than [US$3 million] lying around ”