May 27, 2013

Tumblr: low on blogging, high on teen socialisation

It made a good headline when last week Yahoo made a $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr. It reminded us of GeoCities, a very popular platform for hosting websites in the 1990's, which Yahoo bought and butchered. At that time, blogging was not as developed as it's today but you could make a decent website with tools available on GeoCities and host it too. It lacked interactivity and widgets but what an experience it was!

OK, we won't talk about what will happen to Tumblr. Yahoo CEO has announced that they would let it remain what it is. But what is it by the way? 

Tumblr is a blogging cum social networking platform. It boasts of over 108 million blogs and has been growing fast over the last one year or so (The platform is in existence for about 6 years).

What works for Tumblr is the ease to create blogs, write posts, and put photos and videos.  A blogger can follow other bloggers (almost like Facebook, Google+) and so get connected. It is reported to be popular among teens, especially in the US, and the biggest reason for this is said to be sexually oriented content on many blogs. The structure of Tumblr makes it difficult for snoopers (read parents) to find what the youngster is visiting / following. 

The ease of joining Tumblr and creating blog / posts apart, you may not find Tumblr very blogger-friendly. It lacks the community support that Wordpress gets for themes etc and the versatility that Blogger provides (besides Google+ features of late). We have come across very few regular bloggers from India joining Tumblr. Amitabh Bachchan, of course, has opened his blog on Tumblr after abandoning this blog on Blogadda.