Verizon Looking For Buyers For Its Tumblr Blogging Platform

A man stands next to the logo of Verizon at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona (Photo: Reuters)

After failing to make any reasonable amount of profit from its recent acquisition, Verizon is reportedly now trying to sell Tumblr to interested buyers. The blogging platform that Verizon acquired in 2017 for US$4.5 billion, along with other Yahoo assets, recently fell out of favor with users following a number of policy changes that restricted its usage.

Shortly after it had acquired Tumblr, Verizon implemented a major change in the platform. The policy change included the banning of any adult content on the platform with the company utilizing artificial intelligence algorithms to automatically block and remove images and videos. Blogs that had contained adult content were automatically made private and were no longer available to the public.

The move was swiftly met with criticism from the site's millions of users, resulting in a drastic drop in web traffic. Despite the outcry from its millions of users, Verizon refused to budge and showed no indication that it was going to reverse its decision. During the height of its popularity, Tumblr was one of the largest blogging platforms on the internet. Today, the site still boasts millions of blogs and users, with the latest figures showing 465.4 million active blogs.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Verizon has reportedly approached a number of companies over the past few weeks in an attempt to sell the online blogging platform. However, reports have indicated that the sale process is still ongoing, which means that a transaction or a deal has yet to be established.

One of the companies that Verizon had reportedly approached is the popular adult site Pornhub. The adult website's vice president, Corey Price, mentioned in a statement that his company was very interested in buying the website. The executive explained that they could probably restore the site to its former glory by reversing Verizon's policies and allowing adult content on the platform once again. Price did not mention whether his company has made any official offers to Verizon.

Prior to Verizon's purchase in 2017, Tumblr was owned by Yahoo, which purchased it for US$1.1 billion in 2013. Yahoo, unfortunately, did not find the micro-blogging site very profitable and its popularity did little to reverse its eventual downfall. Under Verizon, Tumblr was placed under its digital properties umbrella called the Verizon Media Group.

Verizon's media business had not been performing very well, with the company previously announcing a US$4.6 billion write-down last year. The company had to sell some of its Yahoo-acquired assets, including the selling of its website Flickr to SmugMug a year ago.

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