A new beginning for Tumblr

In case you haven’t already heard, Automattic, known for WordPress.com and the key contributor to the greater WordPress ecosystem, has agreed to acquire Tumblr, the once prominent blogging and social engagement platform.

The price of the acquisition is said to have been $3 million, basically a giveaway from Verizon given that Yahoo has originally purchased it for $1.1 billion. Tumblr, though having greatly retreated from its glory days, is still humming along with a very loyal community.

The incorporation of Tumblr into a company known for open source access and sharing with community is really intriguing. In a podcast interview the day following the announcement, Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg shared some of his initial intentions and they seem very promising.

Here are the three most important takeaways from that interview, from my perspective as a WordPress and open source fan:

  1. The general desire is to help make Tumblr thriving again as a premier content sharing and social platform. Automattic isn’t looking to incorporate bits and pieces of Tumblr’s core technologies, and then shut it down.
  2. Matt hinted at bringing Tumblr into the open web and open source workings that underpin the non-centralized, freely accessible nature of WordPress. A social alternative that isn’t a closed platform controlled by a single entity.
  3. Along these lines, Matt suggested that Tumblr could support open web initiatives that allow decentralized, cross-platform content sharing and communication, notably those associated with IndieWeb.

Could Tumblr finally liberate us from the dominance of the tech giants, along with the privacy invasions and personal data collection?

Here’s to hoping for a bright future in content sharing and social engagement.