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Tumblr Communities Feature

Monday, June 10, 2024


Last month, blogging platform Tumblr announced the launch of its new Communities feature in open beta and is testing the feature among select web users. The announcement comes six months after the platform began testing Communities in closed beta.

As Tumblr’s latest innovation, Communities will allow users of the platform to both create and join forum-like spaces, each of which will be dedicated to a different area of shared interest among users. According to the Tumblr team, these communities can be public or private in access level, as each community will maintain its own moderators, rules, and privacy settings, similar to forums on platforms like Reddit.

The launch of Tumblr’s Communities signals a shift in focus for the blogging site, adding a social networking element to the platform’s traditional core features of blogging and publishing. Some commentators attribute this shift to the leadership of Automattic, Tumblr’s parent company and the makers of its one-time rival publishing site, Automattic acquired Tumblr at a cut rate in 2019, with CEO Matt Mullenweg hinting at the time of plans to revamp the platform as a “social alternative” to other networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

While Communities remains in open beta, Tumblr users are able to request the eventual creation of communities that interest them, subject to approval by Tumblr staff. Approved communities are then placed on a waitlist for creation – a list that has already accumulated over 5,800 proposed communities, according to Tumblr Labs. In the meantime, Tumblr has invited users with access to consult the Communities Feedback page to report on bugs and bug-fixes, and to stay up to date on the continued development of the feature.

Author: Sarah Farb, 2024 Summer Law Student


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