Automattic, Tumblr and's Owner, Broadens Horizons with Acquisition

Eleanor Lee


Automattic, Tumblr and's Owner, Broadens Horizons with Acquisition

In a surprise move aimed at further expanding its presence into the everyday tech life of its users, Automattic, the firm famously known for owning and Tumblr, has set itself on a new strategic path. The company recently acquired, the messaging application designed to unify multiple conversational platforms into one, all for a price reported to be $50 million. This strategic decision hints at Automattic's intent to play a larger role in how web users communicate — extending its influence beyond blogging and e-commerce. outperforms many of its fellow messaging aggregators by providing some unique features. It manages to bring together diverse conversational platforms like iMessage, WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, and LinkedIn in one neat digital dashboard. But what makes it truly stand out is its end-to-end encryption that guarantees your chat stays secure. Furthermore, it doesn’t shy away from incorporating elements that users wished for, such as a delayed message delivery feature or letting users mark messages unread, even on platforms that don’t natively support it.

Automattic's interest in seems not only logical but also timely. With this acquisition, the company has now entered the rapidly expanding domain of web-based messaging — a significant pivot by any means. This diversification moves Automattic from its comfort zones of online publication, blogging, and e-commerce (courtesy of WordPress, Tumblr, and WooCommerce respectively) into untested waters. Given Automattic's track record of enhancing its acquisitions, as was seen with its recent additions of the journaling app Day One and podcast app Pocket Casts, the potential for's evolution could be limitless.

Automattic's owner, Matt Mullenweg, offered some personal insights into the acquisition, citing the need to simplify managing various messaging apps. He confessed to having difficulties keeping track of all his messaging apps and identified this as a shared problem. Mullenweg believes that, being user-centric, encrypted, and running client-side, will find support in the current regulatory environment. He assured that the messaging will remain as secure as the native desktop apps.

This acquisition could be a game-changer for Automattic and the messaging platform landscape as a whole. Mullenweg points out that big tech companies often need to improve their messaging, offering an opportunity for to fill the gap. Additionally, he envisages Text integration with open source to compete against tech giants effectively. Thus, the acquisition of might be Automattic’s golden ticket to forging a new path in the world of web communication while improving the experience for users juggling multiple messaging platforms. Let's watch this space to see how this play unfolds.