Categories: Technology
| On
2023-12-08 8:46 AM

Tumblr’s Bold Pivot: Unveiling ‘Communities’ Feature in Strategic Overhaul Sparks Social Media Showdown

  • Automattic's CEO, Matt Mullenweg, streamlines Tumblr's operations, focusing on successful features and discontinuing the subscription offering.
  • Recent staff cuts aim to reshape Tumblr's future, emphasizing algorithmic improvements, AI enhancements, and experimental features like Communities.
  • The Communities feature introduces semi-private spaces, offering users dedicated forums for specific interests, potentially challenging competitors like Twitter.
By Lethabo Ntsoane

In a recent move to streamline operations and refocus on successful aspects of its platform, Tumblr’s owner, Automattic, has introduced an experimental feature called “Communities.” This innovative feature aims to create dedicated spaces on the platform, providing users with a new way to connect and engage around specific topics of interest.

Business Strategy Shift

After scaling back operations and reassigning staff to other projects, Automattic’s CEO, Matt Mullenweg, outlined the company’s commitment to honing in on the parts of Tumblr’s service that work and eliminating those that don’t. This strategic shift follows the discontinuation of the subscription offering, Post+, last month.

The Communities Feature

Tumblr Labs has launched an experimental feature called “Communities,” offering a dedicated space on the platform for users to network around various topics of interest. These communities are designed to be semi-private spaces with their own moderators, rules, and privacy settings, reminiscent of Reddit’s subreddits or other platforms’ community forums.

Key Features of Communities
– Semi-private spaces with dedicated moderators
– Separate feeds for community interactions
– Traditional comment section for replies
– Separation from the main Tumblr network

Purpose and Potential

Communities on Tumblr can serve various purposes, from fan communities centered around TV shows, movies, artists, or video games to groups of individuals sharing common interests, such as school attendees, board game enthusiasts, or friends. This new feature provides users with an alternative way to engage with their favorite content, bypassing the need to search for hashtags and discover blogs that focus on specific topics.

Competition with Social Networks

The introduction of Communities positions Tumblr as a potential competitor in the realm of social networking, challenging platforms like Twitter. Mullenweg has hinted at Tumblr’s ability to attract communities from other social networks, citing examples where entire communities migrated from platforms like X (formerly Twitter) to Tumblr, bringing new users and perspectives to the platform.

Feedback and Future Plans

Despite the recent restructuring that involved staff cuts and reassignments, Mullenweg envisions a future for Tumblr that includes algorithmic enhancements, AI features, and more. The Communities feature is currently in the experimental stage, and Tumblr is actively seeking feedback from users to iterate on the idea and tailor it to the preferences of the community.

Next Steps for Tumblr
– Gather user feedback on the Communities feature
– Iterate and improve based on user responses
– Potentially expand the feature with additional enhancements


As Tumblr undergoes strategic changes and experiments with new features, the introduction of Communities represents a step towards creating a more interactive and engaging platform for users. The focus on semi-private spaces for specific interests could set Tumblr apart as a unique social networking space, providing users with more ways to connect and share in the online community.

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Lethabo Ntsoane

Lethabo Ntsoane holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from the University of South Africa. He is a Financial Product commentator at Rateweb. He is an expect financial product analyst with years of experience in reviewing products and offering commentary. Lethabo majors in financial news, reviews and financial tips. He can be contacted: Email: Twitter: @NtsoaneLethabo