Is Pornhub Buying Tumblr?

If there is such a thing as a household name in the porn game, it has to be Pornhub. The innovative Canadian company’s promotion prowess is commendable, as their marketing team has excelled at getting their name into the mainstream. Therefore, it is not too shocking that their recent flirtation with the prospect of purchasing Verizon’s floundering Tumblr has been covered in the media, from BuzzFeed to Forbes.

Upon its Yahoo acquisition, Verizon inherited Tumblr without seeming to know exactly how to make the platform profitable. Their perhaps ill-considered action was to ban NSFW content in an effort to attract advertisers seeking to distance themselves from adult content. The problem was, droves of users deserted Tumblr after the site’s restructuring at the end of 2018. Tumblr announced that images, GIFS, and videos of “real-life human genitals or female-presenting nipples” would be prohibited, and this pushed out a significant portion of their devotees.

The move was a blow to the sect of the population who favored the site for adult content that would not muddy their search history. Many left the site. As claimed by web analytics company SimilarWeb, Tumblr traffic was down 30% shortly after the ban. Mobile users were moving on as well. App analytics firm Sensor Tower reported that mobile usage recently fell to its lowest point since 2013’s end. An attempt to lure advertisers to a declining user base is proving difficult, hence the consideration to sell.

Enter Pornhub. The company’s VP, Corey Price, said in a statement, “We’ve long been dismayed that such measures were taken to eradicate erotic communities on the platform, leaving many individuals without an asylum through which they could comfortably peruse adult content.” He went on to add, “There are obvious synergies between the two brands and value Pornhub could derive from Tumblr. We’re extremely interested in acquiring the platform and are very much looking forward to one day restoring it to its former glory with NSFW content.”

At this time, neither side has confirmed they are in talks about an acquisition, leaving scores of speculation among those with an interest in Tumblr’s future. From Pornhub’s vantage point, this is a win-win situation, as it has placed their name in the mouths of business insiders once again, even if Price’s public statements of intent never come to fruition.

Users who are championing the sale and hoping for the potential return of Tumblr’s former self must consider that there could be a catch. Depending on the stipulations in terms of service, there is always the chance Pornhub would assume official ownership of uploads, meaning they could utilize user-generated content however they see fit. We are already in the era where everything posted online stays there forever, but will uploaders be okay with their content possibly being used by the prolific porn tube site for self-promotion in some way?

For now, we must wait to see just how eager Verizon is to unload Tumblr and just how sincere Pornhub is about branching out to another avenue. Considering Tumblr’s decline in value, this could very well be a fire sale, and Verizon will happily jettison the dead weight to a porn company with the capacity to assist in Tumblr’s rise from the ashes.