WordPress founder Mike Mullenweg weighed in on the Tumblr-Yahoo deal by noting that WordPress saw a big spike in blogs exported from Tumblr.
Mullenweg detailed the jump on his blog: “Imports have actually spiked on the rumors even though it’s Sunday: Normally we import 400-600 posts an hour from Tumblr, last hour it was over 72,000.”
That’s a massive increase – does it mean that Tumblr is going down?
Yahoo sealed the deal with Tumblr this weekend, purchasing the beloved blogging service for $1.1 billion and instigating thousands of speculative blog posts (including our own rather skeptical take, admittedly). Tumblr fans are worried that the Yahoo old guard will contaminate their platform, and that this purchase will inevitably result in a substantial increase in ads and marketing materials on Tumblr.
It’s too soon to tell whether Yahoo will drag Tumblr into the uncool muck or whether Tumblr will inject a little hipness into Yahoo, but these fears are entirely founded. Tumblr needs to crank monetization up a notch – it’s already been working on improving mobile ads – and the Yahoo acquisition will give the Tumblr team access to a larger advertising team. So yes, there will be more ads on Tumblr.
This initial jolt doesn’t mean Tumblr is doomed. After all, people always lose their minds when a favorite smaller service gets snatched up by a larger one. After all, Instagram is doing better than ever, with over 100 million users.
72,000 seems like a massive number, and if that amount of people continued to jump ship every hour this week, Tumblr would definitely be in a pickle. But this is a one-time reaction to news, not the result of any negative changes that have happened on Tumblr yet. If the Yahoo acquisition results in a feature that users really, really hate, there may be an exodus, but it won’t be as rapid-fire.
If Mullenweg hadn’t pointed out this unusual increase, Tumblr may not have even noticed that it happened with all of the commotion that’s happening at their offices – they get 82 million blog posts a day, so that 72,000 is just a teensy slice of the blog pie.
So basically, Tumblr is going to lose some die-hard fans who resist change. That’s inevitable. But there won’t be a real, sustained loss in users unless Yahoo actually starts ruining it.