Last week it was announced that WordPress.com (which is what I use for this blog) had purchased Tumblr for around $3 million. This is, of course, after Yahoo had purchased it for $1.1 billion in 2013 and later wrote it down, having never figured out how to monetize it. Yahoo lost its shirt on the investment. I am sure you’ve probably seen some of the headlines and searing commentary online:
I used Tumblr every day for more than 5 years. I started this daily blog on it because I had already been using it to share and collect photos. At one point Tumblr had more active users than Instagram and Pinterest combined. But eventually it lost its way. Yahoo (and later Verizon by way of its acquisition of Yahoo in 2017) didn’t know what to do with it.
And so at the beginning of this year I said goodbye to Tumblr and switched this daily blog over to WordPress. A big part of that decision had to do with the fact that Tumblr was never really designed for long-form blogs like this one and its mobile support was even more appalling for this use case. It was impossible to write on an iPad. Switching was the right decision. I should have done it sooner.
But now Tumblr is owned by WordPress.com. At $3 million, it feels like they’re almost starting again from scratch. Maybe they’ll figure Tumblr out. Or maybe they won’t.