May 3, 2019 - Technology

Verizon looks for Tumblr's next buyer

In this image, someone holds a phone with the Tumblr login screen displayed. The text on the screen reads: Customize how you look, be who you want.

A user tries to install Tumblr on his phone. Photo: Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Verizon is seeking to unload Tumblr, the social network acquired by Yahoo for $1.1 billion back in 2013, per WSJ.

Why it matters: Tumblr, while unprofitable, remains home to over 450 million blogs and once was at the vanguard of social media.

What to watch: No word yet on a possible sale price. Yahoo wrote the value of Tumblr down by $230 million before being acquired by Verizon, which subsequently hired a new CEO (Hans Vestberg) who has emphasized networking over media.

  • Tumblr founder and former CEO David Karp didn't return an emailed request for comment about Verizon's plans, or if he'd consider trying to repurchase the company. He left shortly after Verizon completes its Yahoo purchase.

The bottom line: Tumblr in its later years became known largely for personal pornography, until Verizon banned such content late last year. That may have been an effort to get the platform ready for auction but, as BuzzFeed reports, the only bidder to publicly express interest so far has been Pornhub.

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