By Sofia Garfias-Yi
Created in 2007 by David Karp, Tumblr has climbed the ranks as another influential social networking platform. However, unlike Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr was made to be a microblogging platform.
Instead of a news feed, users are presented with a familiar cousin – the dashboard. On their dashboard are original or re-blogged posts from other bloggers they follow. These posts consist of gifs, videos, text posts and links, creating a visually engaging and exciting experience.
Tumblr, like Twitter and Facebook, is also extremely versatile. Users range from businesses to celebrities to just your “regular ol’ internet user.” Depending on who you ask, Tumblr can mean a lot of different things to various types of people. Overall, it has created an eccentric, artistic and humorous name for itself.
Much like other social networking platforms, Tumblr also has the feature of sending messages, either under a username or anonymously. Not only has this proved to be useful, but it has also added a personal level to the originally impersonal website.
Though the numbers are unclear, Tumblr serves millions of users around the world, fostering friendships and relationships that cross oceans and borders. Yet, the users weren’t satisfied. Sending messages took too long, and it wasn’t possible to send the same message to multiple people. Messaging was simply not enough.
Recently, the Tumblr staff has revealed that Tumblr now has instant messaging. Any user of social networking sites would agree that instant messaging is a highly useful feature to any site. When initially hearing the news, two thoughts emerged – first, “Is Tumblr trying to be like other social networking sites?” and second, “This is great! In the aftermath of the downfall of Google+, it seems like any sites that try to copy how Facebook is structured seems a bit suspicious.” On the other hand, Tumblr is a whole different world. The content isn’t necessarily focused on people’s lives (unless they want it to be), but instead, many users see it as a creative outlet. Many of the connected bloggers also have never met face-to-face, and this chat feature gives access to easier communication. Overall, it allows quick messaging that could be sent to any user.
This new messaging feature is a step in the right direction for Tumblr. In a world that is becoming highly impersonal, this allows users to foster even stronger relationships, adding another personal level to Tumblr. It seems like the Tumblr staff, infamous for their sometimes unnecessary updates, has made a good choice this time.