Several thousand Tumblr blogs have jumped ship but that’s a small fraction of its 100 million users
Tumblr has confirmed it is to be acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion (£725m). Many Tumblr bloggers appear to be migrating to WordPress, but both Tumblr founder David Karp and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer have promised not to “screw up” the popular blogging service.
Thousands of Tumblr bloggers moved their work to WordPress with migrations peaking at 72,000 in one hour on Sunday, when news of the acquisition broke, according to a blog byMatt Mullenweg, the creator of WordPress. Normally, the rate is far lower than that. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer promised not to “screw up” Tumblr, while Karp pledged the site would not be “turning purple”.
“Normally we import 400-600 posts an hour from Tumblr, last hour it was over 72,000,” said WordPress’s Mullenweg. However, he warned of drawing hasty conclusions about an “exodus” from the platform, pointing out that even Sunday’s spike was a tiny fraction of Tumblr’s 100 million blogs: “For most folks habits overcome internet-outrage. Even if a million people left, that’s just about a week’s worth of signups.”
He did, however, suggest that Karp may be losing out. although the deal apparently means Karp now has a personal fortune of $200 million (£147m), Mullenweg thinks the firm could have grown to ten times what Yahoo paid for it, if it had remained independent.
“I’m curious to see what the creative folks behind Tumblr do with their new resources, both personal and corporate,” he said, “but I’m more interested to know what they would have done over the next 5-10 years as an independent company.”
Karp and Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer both employed somewhat informal language in a bid to reassure users that Tumblr would not be changing its irreverent corporate style.
“We’re not turning purple. Our headquarters isn’t moving. Our team isn’t changing. Our roadmap isn’t changing,” said Karp. “And our mission – to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve – certainly isn’t changing.
“Yahoo is the original Internet company, and Marissa and her team share our dream to make the Internet the ultimate creative canvas. I couldn’t be more excited to have her help. We also share a vision for Tumblr’s business that doesn’t compromise the community and product we love,” he said, before signing off: “Fuck yeah.”
“We promise not to screw it up,” wrote Marissa Mayer on her Tumblr site. “Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going.”
Despite that, many Tumblr users are clearly not convinced. one fairly typuical Tumblr post read: “WHY THE FUCK DID YOU SELL US YOU LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT!? I THOUGHT YOU WERE ON OUR SIDE?! WHAT POSSESSED YOU TO SELL TO A COMPANY THAT YOU KNOW WANTS TO SHUT US DOWN?!? LIKE ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!”
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