Tumblr was acquired by Automattic, owner of the WordPress platform used by millions of sites – including Tecnoblog. CEO Matt Mullenweg gave an interview telling the next steps for the social network, including future premium features; and says it will continue to ban adult content because of the Apple and Google app stores.
In December of last year, Tumblr began to ban photos and videos with nudity or explicit acts. The official app spent a few weeks outside the App Store, but after this policy was implemented, it was again approved by Apple. The social network lost more than 80 million visits after banning adult content.
The CEO commented on this issue on twitter, saying, “If people want big policy changes here, put pressure on the Apple and Google app stores.” In the interview with The Verge, he argues that the Tumblr app is necessary because many people access it that way; it is in the top 100 of stores globally.
However, Mullenweg believes that the approval process in stores is “arbitrary” and takes into account adult content: “they seek for pornography, it’s not like it needs to be on the homepage or login, they really look for it; and if they find something, you can be knocked down ”.
Some people remember that other apps have adult content and are not banned from the App Store. “Well, how do Reddit and Twitter get away with it? Because they both have tons of adult content. I do not know. I’m really curious, ”he says.
One way or another, Mullenweg does not intend to bring pornography back to Tumblr. “Overall, a company or website entirely dedicated to adult content is probably a better and really prosperous home for so much … a number of websites emerged after the policy change in December.”
Tumblr has more users than WordPress.com, says CEO
The CEO does not confirm the value of the Tumblr acquisition, saying that it belongs to the former owner – American operator Verizon – but sources say the price was less than $ 3 million. “Their main priority was not to try to maximize the purchase price, there may even be a corporate reason for the value to be lower because of taxes or something,” says Mullenweg.
Automattic will absorb the nearly 200 people currently working on Tumblr. “We took an approach closer to that of Berkshire Hathaway: we want to bring the management team, take what was working well, which is Tumblr’s engagement, and grow from there,” says the CEO.
And yes, Tumblr’s engagement is still quite high, especially compared to WordPress. Mullenweg cannot reveal figures, as the acquisition has not yet been completed, but says that Tumblr “has more active users per day than WordPress.com has per month”. According to the SimilarWeb, the social network had 381 million visitors in July.
The CEO plans to make adjustments to the ads within Tumblr: this is the main source of revenue for the site, but the revenue is “significantly less than expected, considering the amount of traffic and the target audience”. Currently, the social network is “burning a lot of money”.
He recalls, however, that Automattic is not an advertising company, but subscription and upgrades: for example, WordPress has a free product and offers more features for US $ 40 to US $ 450 annually. Tumblr could follow suit, offering e-commerce tools or subscriptions.
With information: The Verge.