Tumblr Plans to Expand User Base with TikTok-Inspired Feed

Tumblr Plans to Expand User Base with TikTok-Inspired Feed

Tumblr Plans to Expand User Base with TikTok-Inspired Feed



Tumblr Plans to Expand User Base with TikTok-Inspired Feed

Tumblr Plans Platform Revamp with Algorithmic Recommendations, Taking Inspiration from TikTok


In an announcement published on the Tumblr Staff blog, the platform revealed its intention to undergo a significant overhaul by incorporating algorithmic recommendations into users’ feeds. The memo candidly acknowledges the current shortcomings of Tumblr and highlights the need for a more user-friendly experience. The company acknowledges that being a 15-year-old brand presents challenges due to preconceived impressions and outdated features.


While exact details of the upcoming features are not provided, Tumblr drops hints about their focus. The platform aims to deliver excellent content each time the app is opened, labeling the current “following” feed as outdated. To address these issues, Tumblr, owned by Automattic, plans to enhance its algorithmic ranking capabilities across all feeds. 


The company acknowledges that being a new creator on Tumblr can be daunting, often leading to disappointment or abandonment due to a lack of engagement and feedback. This issue stems from the decision to only display content from followed blogs on the main dashboard feed, perpetuating the visibility of popular blogs at the expense of helping new creators.

Tumblr Plans to Expand User Base with TikTok-Inspired Feed

In essence, the changes described by Tumblr closely resemble features commonly associated with TikTok and other social media platforms like Instagram. The platform aims to incorporate algorithmic recommendations into users’ primary feeds, introduce creator-friendly tools that encourage content sharing, and improve commenting and conversation features. These strategies align with users’ growing expectations in 2023, as social platforms increasingly embrace these types of features. However, considering Tumblr’s relatively unchanged interface over its 15-year existence, these new directions may bring significant changes to the platform’s dynamics.


The upcoming redesign represents Automattic’s efforts to revitalize the platform since acquiring it in 2019. The company has previously experimented with subscriptions and other paid features, such as the introduction of Post+ in 2021. However, there was some backlash from long-time users in response to these changes. Recently, Tumblr also offered “completely useless” checkmarks for sale to users, following Elon Musk’s controversial rollout of Twitter’s new paid verification feature.

Automattic’s attempts to breathe new life into Tumblr, which it acquired in 2019, extend beyond the upcoming redesign. The company has previously explored subscription models and introduced paid features like Post+ in 2021. However, these initiatives faced criticism from longstanding users. In a similar vein, Automattic offered “completely useless” checkmarks for purchase, a response to the controversy surrounding Elon Musk’s botched rollout of Twitter’s paid verification feature.


The forthcoming platform revamp, coupled with these previous efforts, demonstrates Automattic’s determination to rejuvenate Tumblr and align it with current user expectations. By incorporating algorithmic recommendations and embracing creator-friendly features, Tumblr aims to enhance engagement and attract new users. The intention to create a more dynamic and interactive environment indicates a shift in Tumblr’s longstanding interface, potentially reshaping the platform’s overall dynamics.


As the digital landscape evolves, social media platforms strive to meet user demands by adopting similar sets of features. TikTok’s influence is evident in Tumblr’s decision to introduce algorithmic recommendations and improve content discoverability. 


With a renewed focus on algorithmic recommendations, enhanced user experiences, and improved creator-friendly features, Tumblr aims to regain its prominence and attract a new generation of users.


The recognition of Tumblr’s shortcomings, as candidly stated in the company’s memo, reflects a self-awareness that is crucial for driving meaningful change. By acknowledging the challenges posed by its longstanding brand image and outdated features, Tumblr sets the stage for a comprehensive revamp that aligns with current user expectations.


The incorporation of algorithmic recommendations into users’ feeds represents a strategic move inspired by the success of platforms like TikTok and Instagram. By delivering personalized and engaging content, Tumblr aims to create a more immersive and enjoyable user experience. Additionally, the focus on supporting creators through improved interaction and feedback mechanisms underscores the platform’s commitment to nurturing a vibrant and inclusive community.

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