WordPress owners buy Tumblr (Update: for "less than $3m")

Sarah Krouse reports that Automattic, the company behind WordPress, is buying Tumblr from Verizon. WordPress is the software reportedly powering a third of the world's websites, and was itself originally focused on blogging. Tumblr was the blogging service of choice for millions of young people, but floundered after being sold to AOL Yahoo and subsequently cleansed of smut and other advertiser-unfriendly material when Yahoo was itself sold to Verizon.

Verizon Communications Inc. has agreed to sell its blogging website Tumblr to the owner of popular online-publishing tool WordPress, unloading for a nominal amount a site that once fetched a purchase price of more than $1 billion. Automattic Inc. will buy Tumblr for an undisclosed sum and take on about 200 staffers, the companies said. Tumblr is a free service that hosts millions of blogs where users can upload photos, music and art, but it has been dwarfed by Facebook, Reddit and other services.

Surprise news, and surely good news for those still using Tumblr. It still has plenty of life in it despite the damp carpets and stagnant air. Looking forward to seeing what happens next.

But for one thing, the porn will not be back.

Mr. Mullenweg said his company intends to maintain the existing policy that bans adult content. He said he has long been a Tumblr user and sees the site as complementary to WordPress.com. "It's just fun," he said of Tumblr. "We're not going to change any of that."

Bought on a whim, for a song.

UPDATE: Dan Primack reports it sold for "less than $3m"

Yahoo paid $1.1 billion for it.