So this popped up on my feed today, and since I know a few of you have an account on Tumblr, I thought it might be prudent to share it here too…
Automattic (the parent company of Tumblr) will start running Tumblr on a skeleton crew for the near future.
If you have an account, you may want to create a backup (Blog Setting → Export blog).
For those who can’t open it, this was shared by a former Staff member still in contact with current employees: Ok I wasn't planning to share anything about this because I was waiting for any official comms, but I'm seeing people from outside of Automattic sharing this screenshot in a WordPress-related public discord server, so I guess the cat is out of the bag:
We are at the point where after 600+ person-years of effort put into Tumblr since the acquisition in 2019, we have not gotten the expected results from our effort, which was to have its revenue and usage above its previous peaks.
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. (Hat tip.)
It is better to have tried to summit the peak and failed than never to have tried at all. We have learned a ton on the journey, and honed skills we can use to approach other summits.
As we talked about in the past, if it doesn’t work we’ll have a backup plan and set up the business so we don’t need to let anyone go, we’ll just need to reflect and decide where else we should concentrate our energy together. This plan is happening now: the majority of the 139 people in Bumblr will switch to other divisions. No plans for any switches in Happiness or T&S.
We assume the first choice for everyone working on Tumblr is to continue working on Tumblr, but we’re going to give everyone an opportunity to have a “top three” ranked list of what other things around Automattic they would be interested in working on. To infuse some Tumblr mojo.
I think that should be the text transcribed from the picture. TL;DR is the same as Meownon posting above, though.
The post seems to have now been deleted, but it was over a month old and there doesn’t seem to have been any follow-up. So it’s possible this change is happening in the near future, but it’s also possible that (1) it already happened a month ago and hasn’t resulted in immediately obvious degradation of the site/app’s performance or (2) it isn’t going to happen, since the screencap is still talking about it as a maybe and we don’t know of any further announcements confirming that they went ahead with it. We really don’t have enough information to know which it is.
In addition, assuming it is going to happen, I believe the group the post says they might be moving people out of is the one concerned with developing new features, which, while not a good sign, wouldn’t necessarily lead to the site/app no longer being maintained and becoming unusable or being taken offline in the near future.
Backups are always good, of course! I’m just not sure this is as definite a sign of the End Times as it’s been made out to be.
I don’t know if it has been linked in one of the posted articles but Matt Mullenweg has confirmed the info, commented the leaked email section by section and shared the rest of the email which hadn’t leaked.
Thanks to those who have posted further information—it’s good to get confirmation that the teams that are responsible for stuff affecting the day-to-day operation of the site aren’t currently planned to be affected by the change. Again, not a great long-term sign, but it seems like the immediate effect of this will mostly be that they stop fucking around with things the way they’ve been doing, which is not the worst thing. Also, delighted to hear that they might finally kill Tumblr Live.
Wow… rip for folks posting since 2007. If we estimate that linearly at 5 days of backup time for year of posting (which will range greatly depending on post volume) that’s still 80 days needed to back up your tumblr… Possibly much more.