Alex Hern writes for The Guardian about the current state of Tumblr and why the site will never return to its pornified past. Hern first lays out what a jumbled, confusing mess the site has become.
And users can’t simply reply to a post – you either reblog it (sharing it and your comment with friends), send a private message about it, or you send a semi-public “ask”, a reply that the recipient can then, if they want, publish, creating a whole new chain of conversation. Even the commercial model is odd: as well as targeted adverts, the site sells an “ad-free” experience (for $40 a year), offers a Patreon-style subscription services (called Post+), and recently launched Tumblr Blaze, a bizarre promoted-post service that lets users spend $10 to show their content to a completely untargeted selection of 2,500 users, and has been gleefully adopted by the community for a sort of esoteric trolling.
It’s a lot for users to take in. Tumblr is trying hard to monetize, throwing everything at the wall and hoping some things stick. I logged into my Tumblr account, to see what has changed since the last time I checked on the site, and the list of options has grown quite long. Honestly, though, I don’t dislike Tumblr because of the tools, but due to the culture that exists on the site.
→ TechScape: Tumblr and Why ‘The Porn-Friendly Era of the Internet Is Over’ | The Guardian