Tumblr investor Bijan Sabet calls WordPress and Tumblr “apples and oranges”


Tumblr and WordPress are compared to each other every now and then. But yesterday Tumblr investor and board member Bijan Sabet posted to his own Tumblr blog and said “[C]omparing Tumblr to WordPress[sic] is like comparing apples and oranges. They are completely different things.”

It’s understandable that he call out this comparison issue, since it comes up quite a bit. Heck, one of our most popular posts of all time is an editorial on the topic. He went no to describe how he sees the two platforms differ:

WordPress is a publishing platform. You can host it yourself or WordPress it will host it for you. And yes, some people use Tumblr in this use case.

But the vast majority of the Tumblr engagement (traffic, page views, liking, reblogs, follows, etc), is on the Tumblr Dashboard which is their unique & native version of a social newsfeed. The Tumblr Dashboard is where you follow other Tumblr users and traffic inside the Tumblr Dashboard far exceeds (understatement) traffic to the aggregate page views to Tumblr powered sites.

I think this is a misunderstood thing with people that dont use Tumblr or haven’t started following enough people. It’s not a tool.

Tumblr is a social network and the best place for creative self expression.


His comments were in response to a post on Pingdom that says Tumblr is growing faster than WordPress.com. His statements could be specific to WordPress.com, though the comments could just as easily apply to the self hosted variety as well.

Sabet is a General Partner at Spark Capital, who invests in Tumblr, Twitter, OnSwipe, and about two dozen other companies. You can follow Sabet on his social network of choice, Tumblr, as well as on Twitter. Does this mean we have to put the comparison discussions to rest?

4 thoughts on “Tumblr investor Bijan Sabet calls WordPress and Tumblr “apples and oranges”

  1. I thought this was really interesting. I’m curious if WP.com counts dashboard activity as pageviews, though I doubt it.

    It doesn’t change the massive number of Tumblr blogs though. I actually started one just to see what all the hubbub is about. Report pending 🙂

  2. I use both self-hosted WordPress and Tumblr. There are good and bad qualities of both. I never really considered them to be true competitors though. Mainly because of the way I use Tumblr and the fact that it isn’t hosted by me.

    I think Tumblr is more akin to Twitter if anything.

  3. Everyone that has a wordpress is publisher/content creator of some sort.

    A large majority of the people on tumblr are mostly rebloggers. The smart ones are trying to be the content creators that are making the content that is being reblogged.

  4. Interesting point to differentiate the two. It may have been better to state what the advantages and disadvantages for both tumblr and wordpress.

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