The short opinion on this is everyone should have seen this coming. By this I mean the acquisition of a user base of content creators. This year has been all about acquisitions and consolidation in the hosting arena – and let’s make no mistake about it, Automattic is definitely a web host.
First, what’s really great about the acquisition for Automattic is that a migration path to WordPress will be created for end users who need more flexibility or augmentation to their Tumblr social. I can envision a model where step 1 is create your Tumblr account, step 2 is a decent amount of content generation, and step 3 is a helpful email that arrives saying you may be better able to take advantage of traffic and monetize your work by creating a WordPress.com website!
Second, it’s also what I believe to be a much larger plan to go toe-to-toe with the SAAS site builders Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, Facebook, etc. Now we can take Gutenberg and integrate the atomic data across a social platform as well as a CMS. Insanely easy one step content creation across two totally different digital experiences. Brilliant if it happens. I’ll save my Gutenberg deep dive for another day but this is definitely how I would start – by acquiring a platform that let’s me experiment.