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Verizon To Sell Tumblr To WordPress Owner

According to The Wall Street Journal, Verizon has agreed to sell its blogging website Tumblr to the owner of popular online-publishing tool WordPress. Tumblr was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013, and was later included in Verizon’s $4.5 billion purchase of Yahoo’s web assets in 2017. Bloomberg reports: Automattic Inc. will buy Tumblr for an undisclosed sum and take on about 200 staffers, the companies said. Tumblr is a free service that hosts millions of blogs where users can upload photos, music and art, but it has been dwarfed by Facebook, Reddit and other services. The Tumblr acquisition is the largest ever in terms of price and head count for Automattic, the company’s Chief Executive Matt Mullenweg said in an interview. The San Francisco company has a stable of brands focused on online publishing, including longform site Longreads, comment-filtering service Akismet, and avatar-managing service Gravatar.

Mr. Mullenweg said his company intends to maintain the existing policy that bans adult content. He said he has long been a Tumblr user and sees the site as complementary to WordPress.com. “It’s just fun,” he said of Tumblr. “We’re not going to change any of that.” Tumblr has a strong mobile interface and dashboard where users follow other blogs, he said. Executives will look for ways WordPress.com and Tumblr can share services and functionality.


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