Tumblr is an app which is downloadable on iOS and Android devices as well as being accessible through web browsers on computers. Tumblr is a blogging site, mainly focused on sharing images, videos and gifs.
Users create a Tumblr ‘blog’ and when they do so, are given their own website with a web address in the format ‘blogname.tumblr.com’ on which they can upload images, videos, gifs and text posts of their own, or ‘Reblog’ them from other user’s blogs. Users can customize their blog by changing the colors, layout, font, header image and display photo along with many other heavily customizable features.
Once a user has created an account, they will want to choose how other account holders can view their blog. To do so, the user will have to select a ‘Theme’. Users can choose from pre-set ‘Themes’ to use, which can be submitted by other people for public use. You can also browse for new themes to use in the ‘Theme Garden’. This part of the site contains premium themes that can be purchased to customize your site design. Premium themes typically cost $9, $19 or $49.
Users can ‘Follow’ a Tumblr blog meaning that all posts by the person they have followed will appear in a central feed. If you want to share someone else’s post, you can ‘Reblog’ it, meaning it will show up on your personal blog. On ‘Reblogged’ posts, it will show the URL of the original poster as well as the URL of whom you have ‘Reblogged’ the post from. As well as the ‘Reblogging’ option, you can also like/favorite posts. These posts will go onto a separate page within your blog which you can either make public or keep private so you can only view it. When you like a post, the person who has shared it will receive a notification to say that you have done so.
Tumblr also features an inbox in which users can send questions, fan mail and submissions to their favorite blogs. This can be done anonymously and shared publicly with all the followers of the recipient’s blog. Fan mail is a way of sending supporting messages to the blogs you enjoy. Submissions are a way in which users can share suggested content with other blogs. All of these things can be adjusted and/or turned off within your personal ‘Settings’ area.
All Tumblr accounts feature built-in analytics so users are able to view the pattern of activity on their account. Within the analytics, users are able to see the amount of ‘Notes’ a post has received in a certain time period, what posts have achieved the best interaction and when your profile has been at its busiest. Any interaction with a post including Reblogs, Likes and Comments will be considered a ‘Note’ and will be visible in the bottom left of each post.
Tumblr can be connected to apps; the main one is the Tumblr app itself, which allows users to view and post blogs from their smartphone rather than a computer or web browser. Other connectable apps include photo-sharing platforms such as Instagram, so Instagram posts can be shared straight to your Tumblr blog. You can also share Tumblr posts to other platforms such as Twitter and Facebook by linking your accounts.
The Tumblr terms state that people under the age of 13 should not use it under any circumstances. By default, when you create a Tumblr account it will be on something called ‘Safe Mode’ which means that any sensitive content won’t be visible to anyone using the ‘Safe Mode’ feature. Although Tumblr is a great way to express yourself and get creative online, some people use Tumblr to post images and videos of a pornographic nature or containing mature themes. Although in ‘Safe Mode’ these shouldn’t be visible, sometimes they might not be marked as sensitive content by the uploader, therefore are openly available to anyone using Tumblr. Be careful when scrolling through the site.