Timeline of Tumblr
This is a timeline of Tumblr. "Often described as Twitter meets YouTube and WordPress, Tumblr lets its users curate pictures, videos and text in one place online."
|Time period||Development summary||More details|
|"Tumblr was founded by David Karp in 2007 as a method for people to post “tumblelogs” — essentially short-form blogs — featuring links, short paragraphs and a stream of consciousness style. It rapidly grew a wild and fractious user base, split into dozens if not hundreds of communities united by niche interests."|
|2009||Rise to popularity||Tumblr releases its first app “tumblrette” with which app users have the freedom to post to their blog whenever they want. This is considered the start of tumblr becoming very popular.|
|2012||Tumblr signs its first big ad deal with Adidas. Now with big companies wanting to be featured tumblr was able to bring in more money. This proved the extent of the popularity of tumblr"|
|2013–2017||Acquisition||Tumblr is acquired by Yahoo. Since then, the site would decline along with the rest of that corporate entity.|
|2017–2019||Verizon Communications acquires Yahoo and Tumblr becomes a part of the Oath corporation.|
|Year||Month and date||Event type||Details|
|1986||Leadership||American web developer David Karp is born in New York City.|
|1997||Leadership||David Karp reads the book HTML for Dummies and teaches himself how to build Web pages.|
|2000||Fourteen years old David Karp begins interning at Federator Studios.|
|2002||David Karp starts coding for UrbanBaby.|
|2005||March||17-year-old German high school student Chris Neukirchen invents the tumblelog system, specifically for super-short blogging. Neukirchen uses the term tumblin on his site Anarchaia. The only rule for tumblelogs is that they be a single paragraph, a rule that persists on many Tumblr formats today. Anarchaia would be followed by "Projectionist", a blog project from Americans Marcel Molina and Sam Stephenson.|
|2006||Karp leaves UrbanBaby to focus on his own consulting company, Davidville. Karp hires Marco Arment to be an engineer for Davidville.|
|2006||June||The development of Tumblr begins. It would become public less than a year later.|
|2007||Marcel Molina receives a message from Karp that he is publishing his first "Tumblr" tumbleblog, inspired by Projectionist. Karp format is presented as a new and advanced short-form blogging format in several ways.|
|2007||February 19||Service launch||In his mother's small apartment located in Manhattan, David Karp launches Tumblr as a free, simplified microblogging service that facilitates the creation of tumblelogs (a sort of short-form blogs), useful for featuring links, short paragraphs and a stream of consciousness style. It becomes useful for users who want to setup quick and easy link blogs or photo blogs. The service is co-founded with Marco Arment. The consulting arm of Davidville is shut down, and the company is renamed Tumblr, Inc. Karp sells 25% of his company for US$750,000 to a small group of investors.|
|2007||October||Karp shuts down his consultancy business as his work with Tumblr demands more time.|
|2007||November 1||Service launch||Tumblr website is fully launched.|
|2008||John Maloney, Karp's former boss at UrbanBaby, is hired as the president of Tumblr.|
|2008||Late year||Karp sells 25% of Tumblr as part of a US$4.5m funding round from Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.|
|2009||February||Tumblr releases its first app “tumblrette” with which app users have the freedom to post to their blog whenever they want. This was the start of tumblr becoming very popular.|
|2009||July||Growth||Tumblr receives over 50 million views a month. The site reports 6 posts every second and 2 reblogs for every second and a half. Every day tumblr receives 5,000 new users and they have 9 book deals.|
|2009||Marcel Molina is hired as engineer at Twitter.|
|2009||Acquisition||Acquisition||Tumblr acquires iPhone app Tumblrette.|
|2009||Leadership||Tumblr’s CEO David Karp is named the Best Young Tech Entrepreneur by Businessweek.|
|2010||August||Growth||Tumblr surpasses 1 billion posts.|
|2010||November||Tumblr adds US$25 million in funding to the preexisting investment pool of US$10 million.|
|2010||Co-founder Marco Arment leaves Tumblr to focus on his own projects.|
|2011||January||Tumblr reaches more than 7 million individual blogs.|
|2011||Tumblr opens branch in Richmond, Virginia.|
|2011||Mid-year||Financial||Tumblr secures venture capital worth over $40 million.|
|2011–2012||May 2011–2012||Competition||Pinterest grows 4,377 percent in the period, while Tumblr grows a much lower 168 percent.|
|2011–2012||July 2011–July 2012||Userbase||Tumblr's monthly unique visitor count increases by 100% to 26.9 million in the period.|
|2011||June||Competition||Tumblr counts 20,873,182 blogs, surpassing WordPress.com by about 85,000.|
|2011||September 26||Tumblr raises $85 million from Greylock Partners and Insight Venture Partners, and reaches an US$800 million valuation.|
|2011||October 7||Tumblr is ranked N°22 on Business Insider list of the 100 most valuable startups at an US$800 million valuation.|
|2011||October||Tumblr becomes the first blogging platform to host United States President Barack Obama's blog.|
|2012||January 29||As of date, Tumblr hosts more than 42 million blogs, ranging from politics to music and pictures. In the same month, Tumblr announces a milestone 15 billion page views every month, from the site's 120 million unique viewers.|
|2012||February||Tumblr launches in North America ‘highlighted posts’, a feature that lets users pay to get more visibility for their work.|
|2012||March||Userbase||Tumblr attracts 21.8 million unique visitors in the month – a million more than February – and over 2.5 times its visitors a year earlier.|
|2012||March||Tumblr reports 20 billion posts for over 50 million hosted blogs on its platform.|
|2012||May||Tumblr announces that it would start selling ads on Radar and Spotlight, two features that highlight interesting and new content on Tumblr blogs. Price for an ad starts at US$25,000.|
|2012||May||Tumblr enters comScore's list of the top 50 web properties in the United States, surpassing Target and Discovery Digital Media.|
|2012||June||Tumblr released its new and improved iOS app, where users can blog from anywhere at anytime on their mobile devices faster and more efficiently.|
|2012||June||Tumblr reports that pornography only accounts for 2-4% of all content on the site.|
|2012||June||Tumblr signs its first big ad deal with Adidas.|
|2012||September||Growth||Tumblr reaches 73 million blogs.|
|2012||October||Tumblr experiences a major outage, leaving bloggers unable to access their postings for more than three hours.|
|2012||Leadership||John Maloney steps down as president of Tumblr and Karp assumes the role.|
|2012||Year round||Financial||Tumblr makes about US$13 million in revenue in the year.|
|2013||February||Tumblr releases real-time notifications on user dashboards, a feature designed to increase user engagement, very similar to Facebook’s News Ticker.|
|2013||March||Growth||Tumblr passes the 100 million blogs milestone, with 117 million unique users worldwide, up from about 58 million a year earlier.|
|2013||April||Tumblr launches mobile in-stream ads, its biggest advertising initiative to date. For the first time advertisers may access to Tumblr stream, where users see friends’ posts and their own. The advertisements look like regular posts and users would see no more than four ads a day.|
|2013||April||Tumblr shuts down Storyboard, a year old experiment consisting in an editorial team of journalists and editors assigned to cover Tumblr as a living, breathing community. The team is laid off with the shutdown.|
|2013||May||Tumblr is purchased by Yahoo! for US$1.1 billion in cash. At this time tumblr receives 100 million users a day with 90 million posts to follow.  Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer comments “we promise not to screw it up.”|
|2013||July||David Karp predicts native, multimedia advertising would be the "most exciting, dazzling part" of Tumblr.|
|2014||February||Tumblr introduces Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, a cryptographic protocol designed to provide secure communication on the web, making it harder for hackers to get users' data.|
|2014||Barack Obama and David Karp talk about how to pronounce the word GIF.|
|2014||July 11||DashCon (originally named Tumbl-Con) is organized as an unofficial fan convention catering primarily to users of Tumblr, with a particular emphasis on fandoms. Held in Schaumburg, Illinois, northwestern suburb of Chicago, the convention would quickly become infamous for allegations of mismanagement and corruption among organizers, who over the course of one weekend, would take US$17,000 from conventiongoers as part of an emergency fundraising drive, failing to pay any of their high-profile guests, and attempting to compensate disappointed ticket-holders by offering them an “extra” hour in a children’s ball pit, fitting only around six people.|
|2015||January||Tumblr launches Creatrs Network, an advertising platform aimed at helping connect Tumblr bloggers with brands and other organizations that want to use Tumblr artist content in their ads and marketing.|
|2015||October||Userbase||Tumblr begins phasing out inactive users, first reaching out via email and asking that they “reactivate their accounts within two weeks,” lest they want Tumblr to “allow their URLs to expire.”|
|2015||October||Tumblr removes the ability for users to reply to posts on their blogs. Users expresd discontent but Tumblr promises a new way of replying to posts.|
|2015||November||Growth||Tumblr reaches over 261 million blogs and over 123 billion posts.|
|2015||November||Tumblr introduces a new function known as instant messaging, which lets bloggers connect with followers privately and contact friends. This function would lead to many collaborations between bloggers.|
|2016||March 28||After having removed the ability for users to reply to posts on their blogs back in October 2015, Tumblr reintroduces Replies, a tool equipped with more features. The company also introduces a redesigned appearance for notes on posts.|
|2016||June 21||Tumblr launches support for live video from YouTube, YouNow, Kanvas and Upclose. The feature allows users to live stream video directly to their followers’ Dashboards, and dends push notifications when users go live or reblog a live stream.|
|2016||October||Tumblr launches "Labs", a tool that allows users test experimental features before they're made available as standard. Four new features available for people to test are launched with the program, including graphs showing users' posts' reblogs, more advanced scheduling options for queues posts, better tools for group Tumblrs, and an option that lets users change the color of their posts to the color of their Tumblr.|
|2017||April 18||Tumblr launches video chat app "Cabana", which lets up to six users video chat together at the same time and stream YouTube videos to watch while chatting.|
|2017||June||Acquisition||Verizon acquires Tumblr after purchasing Yahoo.|
|2018||January||In a survey by the Korea Communications Standards Commission, Tumblr is branded one of the most visited websites containing obscene material among South Korean adolescents, with 465 out of the 10,000 respondents spending 14 minutes per session on the website on average.|
|2018||August||Tumblr announces new community guidelines banning revenge porn, hate speech, and posts that glorify school shootings.|
|2018||October||Tumblr partneres with Made of Millions charity and RYOT Studio "to explore the hidden depths and complexities of Mental Health."|
|2018||November 16||Apple Inc. removes Tumblr from its iOS Store reportedly due to the discovery of child pornography on the service.|
|2018||December 17||Tumblr permanently bans adult content from its platform, eradicating porn-related communities and fundamentally altering how the service is used.|
|2019||August||Verizon agrees to sell Tumblr to WordPress owner Automattic for an undisclosed amount.|
|2019||November||Tumblr launches group messaging threads designed to connect people of different fandoms, a feature expected to provide a more direct bridge for users looking to discuss interests outside of the re-blogging a post. Unlike other similar community features on platforms like Facebook, which has various 'Groups' where users gravitate around interests, this group is programmed to last only 24 hours after being created.|
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