After the takeover of Yahoo by Verizon, David Karp, founder of Tumblr, announces his departure
David Karp will be leaving the blogging platform he created in 2007 at the age of 21 by the end of the year. He announced this in an internal memo, explaining his departure from Tumblr and his parent company Oath, by “Personal ambitions”.
2000s web culture platform
Tumblr offers a hybrid publication format, at the crossroads of the blogging tool and the social network. Particularly appreciated by a young, arty and engaged community, Tumblr had benefited from a strong enthusiasm in its beginnings, especially across the Atlantic. Used by many artists like Taylor Swift, Frank Ocean or Alicia Keyes, Tumblr made a major contribution to the web culture of the 2000s – like Flickr or MySpace – including the use and viralization of animated gifs and memes . Karp himself was the object of these figures of speech, so much he embodied the platform to his users.
After the spectacular takeover by Yahoo, a slow decline
Bought at the height of its popularity in 2013 for a spectacular $ 1.1 billion by a Yahoo! (edited by Marissa Mayer) in search of cool, Tumblr was then left behind by other social networks, like Instagram or Snapchat, on its favorite targets and its star had turned pale. Monetization, moderation of NSFW content, cultural barriers to large group uptake are the main issues faced by the platform. In 2016, Yahoo! had recorded a $ 230 million impairment charge from Tumblr.
Tumblr has hosted 380 million blogs and 155 billion posts. At the peak of its activity, in February 2014, 240,000 new blogs and 106 million posts were published on the platform every day. Today, the number has dropped by two-thirds, to 35 million daily tickets. The number of new blogs created each day is 130,000, a drop of 45%, according to analysis from the tech journalist La Vanguardia Alex Barredo.
Verizon engaged in a vast reorganization of the digital media activity
Oath is Verizon’s internet media subsidiary, created last June following the acquisition of Yahoo! by the operator and grouping together brands like AOL or The Huffington Post. Engaged in a major restructuring of the activity, Oath should soon cut 560 jobs.
The self-taught David Karp has often been presented as a prodigy as only the web can produce, sometimes even compared to Mark Zuckerberg. COO Jeff D’Onofrio will replace Karp in his post.