Tumblr is falling out of favor with it’s owner, Verizon who is seeking a new buyer for the blogging platform which it acquired along with Yahoo back in 2017. It was reported by the Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has approached few companies over the last couple of weeks which could be the possible new owner of the platform.
Currently, Tumblr hosts about 456.4 million blogs as well as 172 billion posts. And the WSJ also believes the process of selling the system is very much alive.
Pornhub Vice Prsident Corey Price claimed in a statement to BuzzFeed News that his company is “extremely interested” in buying Tumblr and “very much looking forward to one day restoring it to its former glory with NSFW content.” The company did not say whether it has actually made any legitimate offer to Verizon, however.
What Price was referring to was the process of wanting to Ban Pornography on the platform last year December. It created and implemented an AI system which detects and auto block images and videos that contains certain adult content.
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The move resulted in harsh criticism toward the company and a steep decline in web traffic, but Tumblr has given no indication that it plans to reverse its decision. Pornhub quickly sought to attract those users that Tumblr drove away.
Tumblr itself was acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in 2013 during the Marissa Mayer era as an attempt to revitalize and steer new, younger users to the sinking internet staple. But Yahoo never really knew what to do with Tumblr, and the micro-blogging site — with its millions of personal blogs and some of the weirdest, best things on the internet — did nothing to reverse Yahoo’s business fortunes.
Verizon finalized its $4.5 billion acquisition of Yahoo in 2017, which led to it taking ownership of Tumblr. Tumblr is currently part of Verizon Media Group (formerly Oath), the umbrella brand for digital properties that Verizon ultimately controlled after its two buyouts of AOL and Yahoo. The Journal notes that Verizon’s attempt to offload Tumblr comes as it tries to make the best of its collective media business after a $4.6 billion write-down last year, which was essentially an acknowledgement that both deals had been a mistake. Verizon sold one of its Yahoo assets, Flickr, to SmugMug about a year ago. Guru Gowrappan, the executive put in charge of Verizon Media Group last year, later criticized that sell-off as too time-consuming without enough reward.
But publicly, Verizon executives remain committed to the properties despite layoffs that have affected some of the sites and entertainment divisions. “I hope there is no doubt about our commitment to Verizon Media Group and how it fits into our whole strategy,” CEO Hans Vestberg said earlier this week, according to the Journal. Tumblr, it seems, is not necessarily part of that strategy. But now the question becomes whether there’s even a viable buyer for the platform in 2019 that won’t let it slowly wither away.