With the recent news of Tumblr being purchased by Yahoo! for $1.1 billion dollars there have been a ton of comparisons between that purchase and many other blogging services. Naturally, WordPress has been among those comparisons.
But WordPress, as a software, is not like Tumblr because it’s open source software whereas Tumblr is not, so the closer comparison is really between Automattic, the largest commercial company and Tumblr as a company.
Is Automattic’s valuation even close to Tumblr’s $1.1billion? Well, it might be worth more as the recent liquidity / investment event with Tiger Global. As Fortune shares, “a source familiar with the situation says that Tiger valued Automattic “just below” the $1.1 billion price-tag that Yahoo recently bestowed upon Tumblr.”
Honestly, I think Automattic is worth more than Tumblr especially since it’s use spans not just tumbloggers but the Fortune 500 and enterprise. Sure, Tumblr has a few large companies and more that are moving there but not nearly as mainstream like WordPress (yet).
In a few years Automattic should scale well beyond Tumblr’s valuation with ease. The question isn’t one of a buyout as Matt has shared his desire to stay independent on many platforms and in some ways he’s forecasted the under-valuation of Tumblr:
News like this, whether from a friend or a competitor, is always bittersweet: I’m curious to see what the creative folks behind Tumblr do with their new resources, both personal and corporate, but I’m more interested to know what they would have done over the next 5-10 years as an independent company.
I think we’re at the cusp of understanding the ultimate value of web publishing platforms, particularly ones that work cross-domain, and while Yahoo’s all-cash deal by some metrics, like revenue, is very generous, I think it’s a tenth of the value that will be created in these platforms over the coming years.
Matt and Automattic have a bright future and it’s never been a better time to get involved and plugged into WordPress.