How Tumblr turned Social Media polls into a Game Design Challenge

How Tumblr turned Social Media polls into a Game Design Challenge

By eduardogaitancortez

It has been one of those monumental names with an old flavor of the first web -called- 2.0. Along with Facebook, Twitter or MySpace, Tumblr has positioned itself as a strange hybrid between social networks and blogging platforms. Today, fifteen years after its founding, Tumblr is also a hybrid halfway between the triumph of several of the platforms with which we compared them (Facebook or Twitter) and the defeat of others (MySpace).


However, after its purchase by Automattic, the organization that owns and derived from its open source version ( seems to be starting to pick up. Although he still has a long way to go. The rise and fall of Tumblr Envisioned as a microblogging venue, Tumblr was developed by program consultant David Karp in 2007.

In a period when longer-form blogs dominated on platforms like Blogger and WordPress, Tumblr delivered a rich, short-form experience, gifs and memes that attracted millions of individuals. There was a time, by the way, in which Tumblr managed to surpass in number of blogs. It had become a kind of ecosystem in which individuals shared the wildest part -in a good way- of Internet culture. But also a lot of adult content, which, as we will see, would end up being its propellant and at the same time. the main nail in his coffin. In 2013, in the midst of the triumph, it was acquired by Yahoo for well over a billion dollars.

“Tumblr is redefining innovative expression on the internet”

said then- Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who later showed several more wrongs than right, not just with the Tumblr purchase.

Tumblr was then a place with monumental potential but no monetization capacity. Something similar, although much more accentuated, than what is now being debated with Twitter, where his name has reappeared under the initiative that certain users of the social network have just bought Elon Musk and have migrated to Tumblr for the purchase of the tycoon. It seems that they were residual, but what is becoming increasingly clear is that Tumblr is having a tiny unpredictable resurgence.


The challenge, to make it profitable In the last year alone, Tumblr has tried to monetize through a paid ad-free subscription (sponsored posts don’t appear for such users), an alternative to tipping creators, and Blaze, an ad-supported model. In this way to say it, but without segmentation or one and quite cheap. There is still a lot to recover for Tumblr, which has gone from having 600 million visitors a month prior to the ban on erotic content in 2018 to just 300, however it seems that a new loophole has opened up for it. We will observe what continuity it has.


As TikTok, Instagram, and increasingly Twitter have pushed the content its users are supposed to love right onto their screens, Tumblr is still one to look for. But before leaving, its former CEO revealed that Tumblr has a major green shoot: In 2022, Tumblr reports that there are 9.4 million daily posts on the platform, up from 84 million in 2014. But with increasing nostalgia for In the 1990s and early 2000s among Gen Z, a revival of the platform seems viable.

In the first month of the year, D’Onofrio mentioned that half of the platform’s active users and 71% of its new users are from Generation Z, who have turned the platform into a kind of safe place to share memes and brief reflections that, in a way, they made their own. There are quite a few components that made and make Tumblr differential. The main one: a quite irreplaceable algorithm compared to other social networks that is based on asking the client more than on pushing content. As TikTok, Instagram, and increasingly Twitter have pushed the content it thinks its users love right onto their screens, Tumblr is still a must-see. And this appeal to have control seems to be being, once again, well valued.

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