Verizon Media and Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Automattic plans to acquire Tumblr.
The press release says that the terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Axios reported that “a source familiar with the deal” put the price-tag “well below” $20 million, while another source put it below $10 million. Axios reported that Yahoo had paid $1.1 billion for Tumblr. Axios also reported that Automattic Inc. will buy the network and take on its 200 employees.
Tumblr is a media network powered by a massive community of independent creators and home to 475 million blogs.
“Tumblr is one of the Web’s most iconic brands,” said Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg. “It is an essential venue to share new ideas, cultures, and experiences, helping millions create and build communities around their shared interests. We are excited to add it to our lineup, which already includes WordPress.com, WooCommerce, Jetpack, Simplenote, Longreads, and more.”
I deleted my Tumblr account shortly after Verizon took over. My husband and I used to post photos of our cockatiels on a second Tumblr account, which we never got around to deleting. Personally, I feel that Automattic is going to do good things with Tumblr, and I definitely trust the company a whole lot more than I trust Verizon.
Will this change bring people back to Tumblr? It is too soon to know that for certain. Axios pointed out that The Wall Street Journal reported that Automattic’s CEO Matt Mullenweg intends to maintain the “porn ban” that Verizon implemented. The ban is one of the reasons why many people left Tumblr.
Tumblr is having an issue with its iOS app. Tumblr confirmed this in a post on its Help Center in which is stated: “We’re working to resolve an issue with the iOS app and hope to be fully functional again soon. We really appreciate your patience as we figure this out, and we’ll update this article when we have news to share.”
Piunikaweb reported that some users said Tumblr search isn’t working (meaning that users were unable to turn off Safe Mode). It also reported that the Tumblr app was not available for download from the App Store, and that some users said that explicit content had been censored.
The Verge also reported that Tumblr’s iOS app is missing from Apple’s App store.
It is unclear exactly why the app is no longer on Apple’s App Store, and this is causing some to engage in speculation. Some think that the app’s removal has something to do with Tumblr’s NSFW content.
This situation is yet another example of why people shouldn’t put all of their original content into a third-party blogging and/or social media website. There is no guarantee that that Tumblr will be around forever. If it goes away, users will lose all the content they put into their Tumblr blogs. Those that put their original content on a WordPress blog, and link it to Tumblr, will still control their own content.
It appears that the desktop version of Tumblr is still there, and this could be an option for some Tumblr users who can no longer access Tumblr through the iOS app. Another potential workaround was posted on Twitter by @diegoveronicat. The tweet includes step-by-step instructions about how to get the Tumblr app back on your phone.
Tumblr announced the release of a brand new app. It’s called Cabana. Right now, the app is for iOS, only. (Tumblr says the Android version should be out in a few weeks).
Cabana allows people to video chat with up to five friends and watch stuff together. In other words, it allows you and five of your friends to watch the same video at the same time – and talk about it. It is a video based chat, not a text based chat.
TechCrunch reported that Cabana is not designed to interoperate with Tumblr’s product, and it doesn’t take advantage of existing relationships between Tumblr users. It seems to me that this means that you won’t have to worry about Cabana suddenly trying to connect you to strangers.
Any friend in the “room” can select a YouTube video for the group to watch together. Tumblr says that you must be at least 17 years old to download Cabana. It requires iOS 9.0 or later. In a post on Tumblr about Cabana, there is the implication that Tumblr has some ideas about “where to go with it”, and that maybe they will add more features later.
NASA has been branching out on social media. It has two verified Twitter accounts. One is @NASA and the other is for the International Space Station @Space_Station. You can also find Twitter accounts for several astronauts. NASA has recently created some Tumblr blogs.
The main NASA Tumblr blog is called NASA. It says “Explore the universe and discover our home planet with the official NASA Tumblr.” At the time I am writing this, the NASA Tumblr blog has a video about the first veggies grown, harvested, and eaten in space at the top of its blog.
There is also a Curiosity Rover Tumblr. The description says “Roving Mars for science. Blogging it for you. Official NASA mission Tumblr”. It has images taken by the Mars Rover (including a selfie). This Tumblr blog also has information about Mars and a link to the recent Curiosity Rover Reddit AMA.
NASA has a third Tumblr blog called Astronaut Peggy Whitson. It has photos and information about the NASA Village. The description says “It takes a NASA Village … to train an astronaut.” This Tumblr blog will follow Peggy Whitson as she trains for a six-month mission on the International Space Station.
Tumblr has announced a new feature that has recently been added. It is called Answer Time. It might be Tumblr’s attempt to compete with Reddit’s AMA (Ask Me Anything) as well as other social media platforms that involve a famous person answering questions from the general public. In May, President Obama did a question and answer session about climate change on Twitter.
In order to participate in Answer Time, you need to have a Tumblr account. Tumblr will give people plenty of notice whenever an interesting ask box has opened. Five of them are being highlighted right now. In short, Answer Time enables users of Tumblr to ask questions to famous people who also have a Tumblr account. Tumblr says that Answer Time will include musicians, artists, actors, politicians, and internet personalities.
There are five upcoming Answer Time events planned. Users of Tumblr can ask any of the featured famous people a question right now, and that person might answer it during his or her scheduled Answer Time.
The band Fall Out Boy will be answering questions on June 8. Vic Mensa (rap artist) will answer questions on June 9. Molly McAleer (author and co-founder of HelloGiggles) will answer questions on June 11. Cecile Richards (President of Planned Parenthood Federation) will answer questions on June 12. David Karp (founder and CEO of Tumblr) will answer questions on June 16.
Tumblr can be extremely fun to use. Connect to people who you share an interest with and your dashboard will be full of wonderful things that make you happy. Unfortunately, Tumblr can stop being fun if one (or more) of the people you follow start posting things that you really do not want to see.
What can you do? One option, of course, is to unfollow them. Doing so will remove the things you are hoping to avoid, but it also takes out all the good stuff the person posts. Another option, one I recently started using, is Tumblr Savior.
Tumblr Savior is a browser add-on that was created by Bjorn Stromberg. You can use it with Chrome, Safari, Opera, or Firefox. I use a Mac and I am using Tumblr Savior on my Safari browser. I love it! You can download the version you need for free.
Once you install it, you can access Tumblr Savior by clicking on the T icon that should now appear in your browser. It will bring up a “black list” and a “white list”. The “black list” is where you put terms or phrases that you would like Tumblr Savior to filter out for you.
Just like that, those annoying posts are gone! Instead of seeing it, you will get a note about it. It will say something like “’Person You Follow’ made a post containing: ‘word on your black list'”. You can leave it be. Or, if you are curious, you can click on that note and see the post.
Tumblr Savior is a good way to avoid “spoilers”. Put the name of a TV show, or movie, that you haven’t watched yet on your “black list”. Watch the movie (or TV show). Later, go back to your Tumblr Savior and take out those words.
Tumblr users might want to change their password. The official Tumblr feed announced an important security update for people who were using Tumblr on an iPhone or iPad.
If that describes you, Tumblr suggests that you download an update. There is a link on the Tumblr announcement page that you can click to download the update.
In addition to the update, Tumblr also suggests that you change your password if you have been using either the iPad or iPhone apps to access Tumblr. The reason for the update (and the suggestion that you change your password) is in response to a security issue. Something in the iPad and iPhone Tumblr apps allowed passwords to be compromised “in certain circumstances”.
It appears that if you only access Tumblr from their website that you won’t need to download the update. It also sounds like people who used the Android app to access Tumblr are unaffected by this security glitch.
I just started using Tumblr fairly recently, but I realize it has been around for quite a while. The biggest benefit I’m seeing so far is that I can “follow” the Tumblr accounts of my friends directly through Tumblr. For me, this means I can take their Tumblr accounts out of the Reader I’m using (FeedWizard). It’s much easier just to check them out through Tumblr itself.