Tumblr Wants To Fix Its Core Experience To Appeal To New Users

Tumblr posted on its Staff website about “Tumblr’s Core Product Safety.”

“Here at Tumblr, we’ve been working hard on reorganizing how we work in a bid to gain more users. A larger user base means a more sustainable company, and means we get to stick around and do this thing with you all a bit longer. What follows the strategy we’re using to accomplish the goal of user growth. The @labs group has published a bit already, but this is bigger. We’re publishing it publicly for the first time, in an effort to work more transparently with all of you in the Tumblr community. This strategy provides guidance amid limited resources, allowing our teams to focus on specific key areas to ensure Tumblr’s growth.”

The Diagnosis

In order for Tumblr to grow, we need to fix the core experience that makes Tumblr a useful place for users. The underlying problem is that Tumblr is not easy to use. Historically, we have expected users to curate their feeds and lean into curating their experience. But this expectation introduces friction to the user experience and only serves a small portion of our audience…

…To guarantee Tumblr’s continued success, we’ve got to prioritize fostering that seamless connection between people and content. This involves attracting and retaining new users and creators, nurturing their growth, and encouraging frequent engagement with the platform.

Our Guiding Principles

  • To enhance Tumblr’s usability, we must address these core guiding principles.
  • Expand the ways new users can discover and sign up for Tumblr.
  • Provide high-quality content with every app launch.
  • Facilitate easier user participation in conversations.
  • Retain and grow our creator base.
  • Create patterns that encourage users to keep returning to Tumblr
  • Improve the platform’s performance, stability and quality.

The Verge reported the changes suggest Tumblr is interested in positioning itself as a stronger competitor to mainstream social network, particularly for creators who want to share material on the platform. The goals include helping creators attract more engagement and making sure people see engaging posts every time they open Tumblr.

According to The Verge, the most obvious change for existing users may be a series of planned updates to the reply and reblog system. “The current way that conversations work on Tumblr across replies and reblog is confusing for new users,” the staff blog says.

Tumblr plans to let users reply to a particular addition to a reblogged post (very loosely equivalent to a quote-tweet) instead of grouping all replies under the original. It also wants to “explore the feasibility of removing duplicate reblog within a user’s Following feed,” in case you don’t want to watch popular posts ping-pong around in your social circle.

Engadget reported that Tumblr could be the latest platform to borrow from TikTok’s playbook. The companies planning a major revamp of its platform that will bring algorithmic recommendations to users’ feeds, according to a memo published on the Tumblr Staff blog.

According to Engadget, the Automattic-owned platform says its working to “improve our algorithmic ranking capabilities across all feeds” and “make it easier for users to understand where the vibrant communities on Tumblr are.”

In my opinion, Tumblr could use a revamp. “Being a 15-year-old brand is tough because the brand carries the baggage of a person’s preconceived impressions of Tumblr,” Tumblr itself stated. Now is a good time for this 15-year-old website to grow and try new things.