Timeline of Tumblr

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This is a timeline of Tumblr, a United States microblogging and social networking website.

Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
2007 – 2009 Early years Tumblr is founded by David Karp as a method for people to post short-form blogs featuring links, short paragraphs and a stream of consciousness style. It rapidly grows its userbase, split into dozens if not hundreds of communities united by niche interests.[1]
2009 – 2017 Rise to popularity Tumblr releases its first app “tumblrette” in 2009, 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.[2] In 2012 Tumblr signs its first big ad deal with Adidas. With big companies wanting to be featured tumblr is able to bring in more money. This proves the extent of its popularity.[2]
2013–2017 Acquisition by Yahoo Tumblr is acquired by Yahoo. Since then, the site would decline along with the rest of that corporate entity.[1]
2017–2019 Acquisition by Verizon Verizon Communications acquires Yahoo and Tumblr becomes a part of the Oath corporation.[3]
2019 Acquisition by Automattic Last change of ownership. Verizon agrees to sell Tumblr to web development corporation Automattic, which manages WordPress.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1986 Prelude American web developer David Karp is born in New York City.[4]
1997 Prelude David Karp reads the book HTML for Dummies and teaches himself how to build Web pages.[5]
2000 Prelude Fourteen years old David Karp begins interning at Federator Studios.[5]
2002 Prelude David Karp starts coding for UrbanBaby.[5]
2005 March Prelude 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.[6]
2006 Prelude Karp leaves UrbanBaby to focus on his own consulting company, Davidville. Karp hires Marco Arment to be an engineer for Davidville.[5]
2006 June Early development The development of Tumblr begins. It would become public less than a year later.[2]
2007 Early development 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.[6]
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, 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.[2] The service is co-founded with Marco Arment.[7][1] The consulting arm of Davidville is shut down, and the company is renamed Tumblr, Inc.[6]
2007 October Leadership Karp shuts down his consultancy business as his work with Tumblr demands more time.[8]
2007 October 31 Financial Karp sells 25% of his company to a small group of investors and Tumblr receives US$750,000 of early stage venture.[9][6]
2007 November 1 Service launch Tumblr website is fully launched.[4]
2008 Leadership John Maloney, Karp's former boss at UrbanBaby, is hired as the president of Tumblr.[5]
2008 December 11 Financial Karp sells 25% of Tumblr as part of a US$4.5m funding round from Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.[10][11]
2009 February Product Tumblr releases its first app “tumblrette” with which app users have the freedom to post to their blog whenever they want. This is the start of tumblr becoming very popular.[2]
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.[2]
2009 Leadership Marcel Molina is hired as engineer at Twitter.[6]
2009 Acquisition Acquisition Tumblr acquires iPhone app Tumblrette.[5]
2009 Leadership Tumblr’s CEO David Karp is named the Best Young Tech Entrepreneur by Businessweek.[12]
2010 April 20 Financial Tumblr receives US$5 million late stage venture funding.[13]
2010 August Growth Tumblr surpasses 1 billion posts.[14]
2010 November 19 Financial Tumblr receives US$30 million late stage venture funding.[15]
2010 Leadership Co-founder Marco Arment leaves Tumblr to focus on his own projects.[5]
2011 January Growth Tumblr reaches more than 7 million individual blogs.[16]
2011 Expansion Tumblr opens branch in Richmond, Virginia.[5]
2011 Mid-year Financial Tumblr secures venture capital worth over $40 million.[4]
2011–2012 May 2011–2012 Competition Pinterest grows 4,377 percent in the period, while Tumblr grows a much lower 168 percent.[17]
2011–2012 July 2011–July 2012 Userbase Tumblr's monthly unique visitor count increases by 100% to 26.9 million in the period.[18]
2011 June Competition Tumblr counts 20,873,182 blogs, surpassing WordPress.com by about 85,000.[16]
2011 September 26 Financial Tumblr raises $85 million from Greylock Partners and Insight Venture Partners, and reaches an US$800 million valuation.[19]
2011 October 7 Ranking Tumblr is ranked N°22 on Business Insider list of the 100 most valuable startups at an US$800 million valuation.[20]
2011 October Notable user Tumblr becomes the first blogging platform to host United States President Barack Obama's blog.[21]
2012 January 29 Growth As of date, Tumblr hosts more than 42 million blogs, ranging from politics to music and pictures.[10] In the same month, Tumblr announces a milestone 15 billion page views every month, from the site's 120 million unique viewers.[17]
2012 February Product Tumblr launches in North America ‘highlighted posts’, a feature that lets users pay to get more visibility for their work.[22]
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.[22]
2012 March Growth Tumblr reports 20 billion posts for over 50 million hosted blogs on its platform.[23]
2012 May Product 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.[24][25]
2012 May Ranking Tumblr enters comScore's list of the top 50 web properties in the United States, surpassing Target and Discovery Digital Media.[18]
2012 June Product Tumblr releases its new and improved iOS app, where users can blog from anywhere at anytime on their mobile devices faster and more efficiently.[26]
2012 June Tumblr reports that pornography only accounts for 2-4% of all content on the site.[23]
2012 June Financial transaction Tumblr signs its first big ad deal with Adidas.[2]
2012 September Growth Tumblr reaches 73 million blogs.[24]
2012 October Tumblr experiences a major outage, leaving bloggers unable to access their postings for more than three hours.[27][28]
2012 Leadership John Maloney steps down as president of Tumblr and David Karp assumes the role.[5]
2012 Year round Financial Tumblr makes about US$13 million in revenue in the year.[29]
2013 February Tumblr releases real-time notifications on user dashboards, a feature designed to increase user engagement, very similar to Facebook’s News Ticker.[30][31][32]
2013 March Growth Tumblr passes the 100 million blogs milestone,[33] with 117 million unique users worldwide, up from about 58 million a year earlier.[34][35]
2013 April Product 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.[36]
2013 April Product shutdown 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 Storyboard team is laid off.[37][38][39]
2013 May Acquisition 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.[2][40] Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer comments “we promise not to screw it up.”[2][1][2]
2013 July Notable comment David Karp predicts native, multimedia advertising would be the "most exciting, dazzling part" of Tumblr.[41]
2014 February Computer security 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.[42] On February 3, Tumblr gives blog owners the option of switching their blogs to HTTPS-only. Unlike some other opt-in HTTPS-only implementations, the option is controlled by website owners rather than website visitors.[43] Internet security commentators feel that Tumblr didn't go far enough, and should have switched to default HTTPS-only.[44]
2014 Leadership Barack Obama and David Karp talk about how to pronounce the word GIF.[7]
2014 July 11 Controversy DashCon (originally named Tumbl-Con) is organized as an unofficial fan convention catering primarily to users of Tumblr, with a particular emphasis on fandoms.[45][46][47] Held in Schaumburg, Illinois, northwestern suburb of Chicago, the convention quickly becomes 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.[48][49][50]
2015 January Product 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.[51][52][53]
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.”[54]
2015 October Product Tumblr removes the ability for users to reply to posts on their blogs. Users express discontent but Tumblr promises a new way of replying to posts.[55][56]
2015 November Growth Tumblr reaches over 261 million blogs and over 123 billion posts.[2]
2015 November Product 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.[2][57][58][59]
2016 March 28 Product 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.[60][55]
2016 June 21 Product 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, pushing notifications when users go live or reblog a live stream.[61][62][63][64]
2016 October Product 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.[65][66][67][68]
2017 April 18 Product 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.[69][70][71]
2017 June Acquisition Verizon Communications acquires Tumblr after purchasing Yahoo, which becomes a brand of Oath inc. (later renamed Verizon Media), a division of Verizon Communications.[72]
2018 January Controversy 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.[73]
2018 August Policy Tumblr announces new community guidelines banning revenge porn, hate speech, and posts that glorify school shootings.[74]
2018 October Partnership Tumblr partners with Made of Millions charity and RYOT Studio "to explore the hidden depths and complexities of Mental Health."[75]
2018 November 16 Controversy Apple Inc. removes Tumblr from its iOS Store reportedly due to the discovery of child pornography on the service.[76]
2018 December 17 Policy Tumblr permanently bans adult content from its platform, eradicating porn-related communities and fundamentally altering how the service is used.[77]
2019 August Acquisition Verizon agrees to sell Tumblr to WordPress owner Automattic for an undisclosed amount.[72]
2019 November Product 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.[78]

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See also

External links

References

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