Tumblr Introduces Paid Subscription Tool to Woo Younger Bloggers

Katie Deighton, writing for the Wall Street Journal:

Microblogging stalwart Tumblr on Wednesday began a test letting some users charge their followers a monthly fee in exchange for access to exclusive content.

The blogging site, which Verizon Communications Inc. sold to WordPress.com owner Automattic Inc. in 2019 for far less than the $1.1 billion it paid for it, said it hopes to make the option to charge for posts widely available this fall.

The feature, called Post+, offers content creators a choice of three monthly prices to charge their followers—$3.99, $5.99 or $9.99—with Tumblr taking a 5% cut of subscription fees. Users can continue to post free content as well if they want.

Tumblr is still around?

How Tumblr Teens Are Bringing Early-‘10s Alternative Back to the Charts


Alt-rock bands from the early ‘10s, like Arctic Monkeys and The Neighbourhood — who each have multiple catalog hits currently experiencing TikTok-accelerated spikes in streaming consumption — are necessary accessories for a current “e-girl” in the same way a choker and black eyeshadow are. […]

Popular songs of that early ’10s era — like The Neighbourhood’s “Sweater Weather” and “Daddy Issues,” along with Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know?” and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” — are proving to be enduring, thanks in large part to continued exposure on TikTok. The two Neighbourhood songs have both climbed into the top 20 on Billboard’s Rock Streaming Songs chart (“Sweater Weather” even reaching a No. 3 peak in January). “Sweater Weather” also climbs to a staggering new peak this week of No. 62 on Billboard’s Global 200 chart, ranking the biggest songs in the world from all genres, while both Arctic Monkeys songs have also made appearances this year on the international listing.

Tumblr’s Porn Ban Is the Middle of the End of the Old Internet

Katie Notopoulos, writing for BuzzFeed:

A lot what Tumblr is banning is just gratuitous porn GIFs, and the internet is not lacking options when it comes to free pornography. But Tumblr is also a thriving place for the kind of sexual expression that you won’t find on Pornhub. “Tumblr sex sites created spaces for ALL KINDS of people who don’t have access to sexual community elsewhere,” wrote Steven Thrasher. It has always been a safe haven for young people exploring and expressing their sexuality. There is tasteful erotica, supportive places for people to post their own bodies — including those that don’t look like typical porn bodies — and to consume and engage with the wide swath of human sexual experience that can’t be replicated by logging on to xHamster and being greeted with a blast of extremely aggressive heterosexual facials.

Tumblr to Ban Adult Content

Tumblr will ban all “adult content” from their platform beginning on December 17th:

Banned content includes photos, videos, and GIFs of human genitalia, female-presenting nipples, and any media involving sex acts, including illustrations. The exceptions include nude classical statues and political protests that feature nudity. The new guidelines exclude text, so erotica remains permitted. Illustrations and art that feature nudity are still okay — so long as sex acts aren’t depicted — and so are breastfeeding and after-birth photos.

Tumblr Is Explicitly Banning Hate Speech

Shannon Liao, writing for The Verge:

Tumblr is changing its community guidelines to more explicitly ban hate speech, glorifying violence, and revenge porn. The new rules go into effect on September 10th.

“It’s on all of us to create a safe, constructive, and empowering environment,” Tumblr writes in its blog post. “Our community guidelines need to reflect the reality of the internet and social media today.”

Tumblr’s Founder Steps Down

Tumblr’s founder, David Karp, has stepped down. He posted the letter he sent to colleagues this morning on his blog:

I look back with so much pride. At a generation of artists, writers, creators, curators, and crusaders that have redefined our culture, and who we have helped to empower. There are no words, though, that can express how sincerely grateful I am for the privilege of working with you. This team and place has been my family and home for most of my adult life. That I have gotten to spend this time working with people so spectacularly talented and unstoppably optimistic is a blessing I hope you have shared, and will continue to share.

Tumblr’s Unclear Future

Brian Feldman, writing at New York Magazine:

The future of Tumblr is still an open question. The site is enormously popular among the coveted youth crowd — that’s partly why then-CEO Marissa Mayer paid $1 billion for the property in 2013 — but despite a user base near the size of Instagram’s, Tumblr never quite figured out how to make money at the level Facebook has led managers and shareholders to expect.

I haven’t read a Tumblr blog regularly since Property of Zack closed down. I haven’t even logged into my account in quite a while now. What’s the main Tumblr use case these days?

Tumblr to Introduce Ads Across All Blogs

Tumblr will be rolling out ads across their platform, and yes, on your blog, in the near future:

In addition, users can opt out of having ads displayed on their blogs by turning off on-blog advertising in the Settings. Yes: that means that ads on blogs will be the default – effectively allowing Tumblr to monetize its network of over 306 million blogs from 65 million users, unless those users take an explicit action to disable ads. Users will also be able to disable ads on a per-blog basis if they choose.

Tumblr says that ads will appear in three places, including the main page of the Tumblr blog if the blogger is using the default Optica theme for their blog, as well as on the slide-out section on the web, and on Tumblr’s mobile apps and mobile web.