Tumblr is gearing up for a major transformation by taking inspiration from TikTok in an effort to expand its user base. A memo published on the Tumblr Staff blog outlines the company’s plans to revamp its platform and introduce algorithmic recommendations to users’ feeds.
The memo candidly acknowledges Tumblr’s current challenges and identifies the lack of user-friendliness as a key issue. With a 15-year history, Tumblr recognizes that it carries the burden of preconceived notions associated with its brand.
While specific details about the upcoming features are not provided, Tumblr drops hints about the direction it’s taking. The primary objective is to provide users with excellent content every time they open the app. The current “following” feed is deemed outdated, prompting the need for improvement.
Automattic, the owner of Tumblr, aims to enhance the platform’s algorithmic ranking capabilities across all feeds and make it easier for users to discover vibrant communities on the site. Additionally, Tumblr emphasizes the importance of being creator-friendly, with plans to improve how replies and reblogs work. The company acknowledges the challenges faced by new creators and aims to break the cycle of popular blogs gaining visibility at the expense of supporting new talent.
Overall, Tumblr’s proposed changes resemble the features found in TikTok and Instagram. Algorithmic recommendations in primary feeds, creator-focused enhancements, and streamlined commenting tools are anticipated. While these strategies align with user expectations for social platforms in 2023, Tumblr’s traditional interface may undergo significant transformations due to its relatively unchanged nature over the past decade and a half.
The forthcoming redesign isn’t the only effort Automattic has made to revitalize Tumblr since acquiring it in 2019. The company has experimented with subscriptions and paid features, introducing Post+ in 2021. However, some long-time users expressed backlash against this feature. More recently, in response to Elon Musk’s controversial rollout of Twitter’s paid verification, Tumblr began selling “completely useless” checkmarks to its users.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about TikTok-inspired revamp
What changes is Tumblr planning to make to its platform?
Tumblr is planning a major revamp of its platform, drawing inspiration from TikTok. The changes will include algorithmic recommendations, improved feeds, and creator-friendly features.
Why does Tumblr feel the need for these changes?
Tumblr acknowledges that its platform is not user-friendly and that its brand carries preconceived impressions. Being a 15-year-old brand presents challenges, so Tumblr aims to address its shortcomings and attract new users.
What can users expect from the revamped Tumblr?
Users can anticipate algorithmic recommendations in their feeds, similar to TikTok and Instagram. Tumblr also plans to introduce more creator-friendly features, streamline commenting and conversation tools, and make it easier to discover vibrant communities on the platform.
How will the changes benefit new creators on Tumblr?
The changes aim to support new creators by breaking the cycle where popular blogs gain visibility at the expense of helping new talent. Tumblr seeks to make it less intimidating for new creators, offering better engagement and feedback for their creations.
Has Tumblr made any other efforts to improve its platform?
Apart from the upcoming revamp, Tumblr has experimented with subscriptions and paid features, introducing Post+ in 2021. However, there was some backlash from long-time users. Recently, Tumblr even sold “completely useless” checkmarks to users, responding to the controversy surrounding Twitter’s paid verification.