February 13, 2015
In the past, there were two popular blogging platforms – WordPress and Blogger. In time, Medium entered as a new player to the niche, which apparently is becoming even more diversified.
Tumblr: The Newest Blogging Option?
Well, now Tumblr is the latest player making bold claims about its entry in the niche. The new posting and editing features that the platform is introducing may give Tumblr users the chance to take the experience to the next level and to actually begin using the platform as a legitimate blogging springboard.
The History of Tumblr
Tumblr started out as a microblogging platform, enabling its users to “pin” content that they like and create snippets. In essence, it resembled Pinterest for content.
By February 1, 2015, the number of Tumblr blogs reached 221.9 million. So far, the platform hosts nearly 103 billion posts. More than 88 million posts are created on Tumblr every single day.
Introducing the New and Upgraded Tumblr
At the end of January 2015, Tumblr announced some major changes that are expected to take the microblogging platform to the next level and transform it into a legitimate and user-friendly blogging platform.
One of those changes entailed a major change in post creation. Tumblr users will get to use WYSIWYG editing options, making it easier for them to work with text and images right from the Tumblr dashboard.
The editor will also give access to brand new formatting options and the ability to add lists or to link to external sources of content. Individuals that have used other blogging platforms are familiar with all of these convenient features.
This is what the new Tumblr post creator will look like. Photo courtesy of Tumblr’s official blog
According to the official Tumblr blog, users will also get access to several other new features:
- The ability to add images and videos to any part of a post.
- A Preview function for posts.
- Sub-headings and new possibilities for structuring content, providing a cleaner appearance.
- Better text rendering.
The changes show a serious effort at transformation and an attempt to escape Tumblr’s previous reputation as a haven for teens wanting to share their favorite GIFs. The new post editing options will encourage essay and article writing, giving Tumblr posts more substance and potentially making the platform more appealing to a mature, professional audience.
Tumblr is moving away from its previous GIF and image-heavy format. The move will make it a serious contender in the functional blog platform niche.
A New Option for Aspiring Writers and Bloggers?
Should aspiring bloggers and writers give the new Tumblr a try or stick to well-known and established websites like Medium or WordPress? This is the big question many are asking after the announcement of the new content editing changes.
The new Tumblr editor is certainly making content creation a whole lot easier. The new formatting options simplify the task of breaking up lengthier posts, adding lists and images to content.
The new features approximate what Medium has already been giving its users. Medium, however, still has a cleaner and more minimalist content editing system. The number of Tumblr distractions remains relatively high, which may be one of the reasons why writers and bloggers may decide to avoid the platform for now.
In addition, Tumblr is still lacking the integrated commenting platform that other blogging websites have. Finally, there are limited opportunities for analyzing the content performance on Tumblr. Currently, the website has data about followers, likes and content shares. To become a serious blog platform contender, Tumblr would have to start providing more metrics and in-depth data, enabling authors to track the performance of their posts.
Conclusion: How Big is the Big Update?
What’s been marketed as a big update is certainly a step in the right direction but Tumblr leaves a lot more to be desired, especially when it comes to the professional use of the platform.
The website has announced that additional formatting and content creation changes are to be integrated in the near future, giving Tumblr users more flexibility and possibilities to work with both text and multimedia. Until these are rolled out, however, the impact of the modification will probably remain limited.
It’s also clear that the Tumblr team is paying attention to new trends and to the popularity of other platforms like Medium. Though Medium is still relatively small (the platform gets 17 million visitors per month), Tumblr is obviously targeting the same niche and attempting to give its users the same clean and minimalist design that Medium is known for.
Will the changes work and will Tumblr’s entry in this brand new field be a big success? Only time (and the new updates) will tell how the audience will perceive the new Tumblr.
Julia Spence-McCoy is the CEO of Express Writers, an online copywriting agency that began in 2011 with thousands of web content pages written to date and more than 50 talented writers on the team. Her passion is copywriting and all that pertains, including the ever-changing game of Google algorithm updates.