Verizon Sells Tumblr to WordPress Owner

Category : Business

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. workforce / ˈwɜrk fɔrs / (n) – the entire group of people working for a specific company

    The international company has a workforce of 3,500 people.

  2. be looking to (do something) / ˈlʊk ɪŋ tʊ / (phrasal) – to look for ways to accomplish something

    I’ve been looking to sell my old bike because I’m not using it anymore.

  3. screening / ˈskri nɪŋ / (n) – the examination or the filtering of things to judge if they are appropriate (e.g. content for publishing)

    All movies go through strict screening before they are shown in the mall’s cinema.

  4. preserve / prɪˈzɜrv / (v) – to maintain something and prevent it from changing or getting damaged

    The management was able to preserve the company’s traditions for 50 years.

  5. inclusive / ɪnˈklu sɪv / (adj) – allowing all kinds of people to be part of something (e.g. an activity, organization)

    Our company accepts people of any educational background, social status, or race because it vowed to be inclusive.


Read the text below.

Major American telecommunications company Verizon is selling its subsidiary Tumblr.

The social networking and microblogging site, which can be used for posting short blogs, photos, and GIFs, is being sold to Automattic, Inc., the owner of major blogging site WordPress. Aside from the acquisition of the website, the deal also entails bringing 200 Tumblr staff into Automattic’s workforce.

Some sources report that Automattic is acquiring Tumblr for around $3 million, which is a great downgrade from its original value. The company was bought by Verizon at $1.1 billion in 2013. However, Verizon said that selling the social networking site at such a low price is not an issue for the company.

Before the deal was struck, Verizon had been looking to sell the site for some time because of Tumblr’s inability to generate enough profit. The site’s users declined dramatically after Verizon made changes in Tumblr’s policies on the screening of content for the site. According to a report, the site was visited 521 million times in 2018, but the latest data shows that Tumblr only got 381 million visits as of July this year.

Following Tumblr’s change in ownership, some people wonder about the future of the website and its avid users. However, Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg is positive about the acquisition. He promised that Automattic will help preserve Tumblr’s passion and sense of community, which made users worldwide love the site. Mullenweg also said that the company aims to make Tumblr work alongside WordPress to provide people a more inclusive and enjoyable experience online.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it was a good move for Automattic to acquire Tumblr even if the site has significantly decreased in value? Why or why not?
• If you were the owner of Automattic, what would you do to ensure the continued usage and support of old Tumblr users? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Do you think that running a blogging site is profitable? Why or why not?
• In the face of tight competition on the Internet, what can owners of blogging sites do to keep their business running for a long time? Discuss.

Category : Business