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Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

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Automattic acquires Tumblr

August 13, 2019

Matt Mullenweg, on this Tumblog:

When the possibility to join forces became concrete, it felt like a once-in-a-generation opportunity to have two beloved platforms work alongside each other to build a better, more open, more inclusive – and, frankly, more fun web. I knew we had to do it.

Let’s get a few things out of the way immediately. Matt’s team acquired Tumblr for beans. That alone is a big part of this story. Yahoo! paid just over $1B for the platform and Automattic, reportedly, paid somewhere in the $3M area. In the world of acquisitions, this may end up being one of the most profitable acquisitions made by a tech company. Time will tell but I’d be willing to bet that Automattic will profit on this acquisition in a very short period of time.

Second, the tech stack of Tumblr is going to be replaced by WordPress. This is good for a variety of reasons. It ensures Tumblr will very likely be around in some form or another in perpetuity while still retaining its unique posting UI that its community no-doubt loves. I know I love it. I wish I had the same thing for my WordPress blog. Maybe I will get that now?

It also likely means that Tumblr and WordPress users can move back-and-forth between these two platforms much easier. I remember when I switched The Watercolor Gallery, which began as a Tumblog in 2010, to WordPress. It took me weeks to get everything right. Presumably this will no longer be the case.

And lastly, Automattic is an excellent home for Tumblr. They don’t just throw things out like Google, or apparently Verizon. They believe in building things for the long haul, doing them openly (for the most part), and retaining the ethos of the companies they acquire.

Both Flickr and Tumblr have seemingly found good homes.

I’m cdevroe on Tumblr.

Comments

Danny Nicolas says:

Also worth noting that he responded to comments on HN:
https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20679387

>”I’m super excited to have the Tumblr team and product join the Automattic family. We’ve been evolving Automattic to be more of a Berkshire Hathaway-inspired model and businesses with a lot of autonomy, and this continues that trend.
>”I was very impressed with the engagement and activity Tumblr has continued to have, and I hope that with this new ownership and investment the product will blossom. ”

Excited to see what happens next.

Colin Devroe says:

It comforts me that some of these og web platforms are finding soft landings. If for no other reason than URLs living a lot longer.

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