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Big Revolution - Tumbling home

Welcome to Tuesday's newsletter. Let's dive straight in... — Martin from Big Revolution
August 13 · Issue #496 · View online
Big Revolution
Welcome to Tuesday’s newsletter. Let’s dive straight in…
— Martin from Big Revolution

Big things you need to know today
  • Verizon is selling Tumblr to the owner of WordPress. Automattic is getting the social platform for a bargain basement price of under $10m, maybe even under $3m. More on this below.
  • TikTok is a new battleground for hate speech in India. Sadly inevitable.
The big thought
Tumbling home
Tumblr finally has a home that suits it.
The social ‘blogging, kinda’ platform sold to Yahoo for $1.1bn back in 2013, before being swallowed by Verizon when Yahoo was acquired. Tumblr was neglected under Yahoo and actively harmed under Verizon. The banning of adult content went way too far and helped drive a wave of negative sentiment to the point that Verizon had struggled to sell this once great platform.
And now along comes Automattic, which paid peanuts for Tumblr — perhaps lower than $3m, according to Axios’ Dan Primack. The WordPress owner will take on 200 staff with the acquisition.
What does this mean for Tumblr? Writing on Hacker News, Automattic chief Matt Mullenweg said:
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.
Migrating Tumblr’s infrastructure to WordPress is on the cards, but other than that they appear to want to leave Tumblr free to flourish outside the confines of a corporate structure that didn’t know how to handle it.
This is what should have happened originally. Yahoo never felt like the right destination. But it may be too late. Is there room for Tumblr to grow? The next generation are far more into the likes of Instagram and TikTok to bother with old-fashioned Tumblr.
The staff there could still turn it around, but it will be a tough ship to steer. Still, even if it is in decline, an enthusiastic Automattic is a better steward for Tumblr than a corporation that didn’t care.
One big read
How Facebook Is Changing to Deal With Scrutiny of Its Power How Facebook Is Changing to Deal With Scrutiny of Its Power
“In both pre-emptive and defensive ways, the social network is modifying its behavior to fend off antitrust concerns.” Facebook is reportedly dialling back on acquisitions as it figures out how to navigate the new political landscape.
One big tweet
As someone who listened to a podcast through one working earphone today, I would probably subscribe to this…
rat king
a subscription service to “new iphone earbuds every 6 to 9 months after my most recent pair inevitably craps out”
7:16 PM - 12 Aug 2019
That’s all for today...
Back tomorrow with more. See you in your inbox then!
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