Tumblr’s Comeback, Formerly Twitter

Tumblr has introduced a fresh web interface inspired by the aesthetics of X, the former Twitter platform. This move follows a month-long testing period with select users and aims to simplify user experience and navigation, catering to both newcomers and established users.

 A Bid to Increase Engagement and Exploration 

The revamped design positions the navigation bar on the left side of the screen, mirroring X’s layout. Furthermore, the placement of the compose button has been shifted to the bottom left, echoing X’s arrangement. Tumblr’s intention behind these alterations is to elevate user engagement and foster exploration across the platform.

In a candid blog post, Tumblr acknowledges its history of introducing new icons without proper guidance, causing user confusion. To address this, the navigation now incorporates text labels where feasible. This adjustment has notably led to users delving into previously uncharted sections of the platform.

Gathering insights from user feedback during the testing phase, Tumblr has fine-tuned the new interface. These refinements encompass repositioning settings subpages, such as Account and Dashboard, to the right side of the settings page.

This change improves accessibility while rectifying messaging window issues on smaller screens. Additionally, the Account section has been streamlined for effortless access to blogs.

 More UI Update on the Horizon 

Looking ahead, Tumblr envisions the potential for a collapsible navigation option and optimising screen utilization for users with larger displays. The platform is also committed to enhancing account and sideblog accessibility.

The decision to overhaul the web interface follows Tumblr’s surge in users following Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter (now X) in November. The shift led to a notable 58% rise in iOS app downloads and a corresponding 57% increase among Android users within the first week of November, as reported by Tumblr CEO Matt Mullenweg.

Data from data.ai underscores the impact, revealing that Tumblr experienced a considerable upswing of 880,000 new installs across iOS and Android in November, compared to 450,000 and 500,000 in September and October, respectively. However, subsequent months saw download numbers normalize, averaging between 400,000 to 500,000 per month.

Capitalizing on the ongoing search for Twitter alternatives, Tumblr strives to attract new users through an interface resembling X’s. Nevertheless, the shift has garnered mixed responses, with several Tumblr users expressing their discontent on X.

 Tumblr Looking to Fight Bleak Financial State 

These developments emerge shortly after Mullenweg disclosed Tumblr’s financial landscape, where the platform is spending roughly $30 million more than its annual revenue. This financial reality aligns with Tumblr’s journey; founded in 2007, the company underwent a transformative trajectory, culminating in Automattic’s acquisition of Tumblr for $3 million in 2019.

Despite maintaining a dedicated user base, Tumblr has encountered challenges in expanding its daily active user count following a contentious ban on explicit content. Given the platform’s cherished culture, even subtle alterations can provoke resistance among users.While some users remain apprehensive about the changes, Tumblr anticipates these updates will attract fresh users and elevate the overall user experience.


Flavie Du

Flavie Du was a senior writer at BTW media focused on blockchain and fintech investment. She graduated from King’s College London.

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