It was one of those big names with the old flavor of the first network called 2.0. Along with Facebook, Twitter or MySpace, Tumblr bills itself as an odd hybrid between social media and blogging platforms.. Today, fifteen years after its founding, Tumblr is also a cross between the success of some platforms we compared them to (Facebook or Twitter) and the failure of others (MySpace).
However, since its purchase by Automattic, the company that owns WordPress.com and is a derivative of its version open source (WordPress.org) seems to be starting to change. Although it is still far away.
The Rise and Fall of Tumblr
Tumblr, conceived as a microblogging space, was created by software consultant David Karp in 2007. At a time when platforms like Blogger and WordPress were dominated by longer blogs, Tumblr offered short, GIF-heavy formats. and memes that have attracted millions of people. In fact, there was a time when Tumblr surpassed WordPress.com in the number of blogs. It became a kind of ecosystem where people shared the wildest part – in a good way – of Internet culture, as well as a lot of adult content, which, as we will see, eventually became its driving force and at the same time the main nail into his coffin.
In 2013, at the height of its success, it was acquired by Yahoo for over a billion dollars. “Tumblr is changing the way we think about creative expression online,” said then-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who would later turn out to be more wrong than right, and not just with the Tumblr acquisition.
Back then, Tumblr was a site with huge potential, but no way to monetize it. Something similar, albeit much more emphatic than what is now being discussed on Twitter, where his name resurfaced under the idea that some users of the social network that Elon Musk had just bought migrated to Tumblr due to the acquisition magnate. It seems like they were leftovers, but it’s becoming increasingly clear that Tumblr is going through a bit of an unexpected renaissance.
Automattic (WordPress) and Generation Z Rush to the Rescue of Tumblr
When Verizon took over Yahoo, Tumblr hit rock bottom. Karp left due to controversy, and the parent company decided to ban adult content from the platforms after Apple removed its app from the AppStore over the matter. It was 2018.
It is estimated that since then the number of users has decreased by more than 40%. So when the company behind WordPress bought it in 2019 for just $3 million, it was seen as buying a dead body. What did Automattic see there?
Automattic CEO and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg admitted several times that they didn’t get where they wanted to go, and in January of this year Jeff D’Onofrio, who was their CEO, abruptly left.
But before he left, his former CEO revealed that Tumblr has great potential: In 2022, Tumblr reports that there are 9.4 million posts posted daily on the platform, up from 84 million in 2014. But with growing nostalgia for the ’90s and early 2000s among Generation Z, a resurgence of the platform seems possible.. In January, D’Onofrio said that half of the platform’s active users and 71% of its new users are Generation Z, who have turned the platform into a kind of safe place to share memes and brief reflections. they made their own.
There are many factors that have made and continue to make Tumblr different. Main: a very simple algorithm compared to other social networks, which is based on a user survey, and not on pushing content. While TikTok, Instagram and increasingly Twitter throw content you think your users like right on their screens, on Tumblr you still have to search for it. And this call for control seems to be highly valued again.
The challenge is to make it profitable
In the past year alone, Tumblr has attempted to monetize through paid subscriptions with no ads (ad posts are not shown to these users), the ability to tip creators, and Holapromotion or advertising model, so to speak, but without any segmentation and very cheap.
Tumblr still has a lot to rebuild, it has grown from 600 million monthly visitors before the erotic content ban in 2018 to just 300., but it looks like a new loophole has opened up for her. Let’s see what kind of succession he has.
Source: Hiper Textual