the 4 reasons

why tumblr ultimately failed

Tumblr is a microblogging platform that allows users to post text-based as well as visual content.  Over 550 million individual blogs have been created on the platform thus far. 

Tumblr was launched in early 2007 by high school dropout David Karp. In 2013, he sold the business to Yahoo for a whopping $1.1 billion. The sale alone netted Karp $250 million.

Investors, after over 50 acquisitions, many of whom never amounted to anything, forced then-CEO Marissa Mayer to resign in June 2017.

In August 2019, Yahoo finally decided to sell Tumblr to developer Automatic for a mere $3 million. 

So, what ultimately led to Tumblr’s steep fall from grace? 

Banning NSFW Content 

In December 2018, Tumblr banned all NSFW-related content, which led 30 percent of its users to depart. A petition to reinstate that content even amassed over 600,000 signatures.

Inability To Sell Advertising 

Companies on the platform, for the longest time, didn’t even have an option to advertise their products and services. Katz himself had a disdain against advertising.

Yahoo struggled greatly to integrate its own sales team into Tumblr’s existing organizational structure. Former CEO Mayer also rarely talked to anyone at Tumblr.

Cultural Difference

Tumblr lacked many of the features that made other social networks so prominent. For example, whenever a new user would post new content, it wouldn’t show up on anyone’s feed.

Lack Of Product Stickiness