Tumblr is growing and becoming more powerful as an influence in online social media. The popular “artist blogging” platform has become the home of some powerful circles of artisans (musicians, writers, painters, photographers, travelers, actors, and more). It has also become the home of hundred-thousand-strong fandoms, big enough to influence online polls, trends, and movements about vital issues in society.
The unique, highly-charged, and highly-creative environment that is Tumblr is still growing, and this is probably why Yahoo had scooped it up in the first place. With the combined forces of Yahoo and Tumblr, even more development is expected on the site, perhaps in terms of interface or spread of influence.
It’s no secret that Tumblr had been fielding acquisition from multiple companies, Facebook included. And why wouldn’t Facebook want Tumblr’s business? After all, the demographic that used to be on Facebook (the young people, from teens to late twenties), seem to have made an exodus to Tumblr, mainly because Facebook is exposed to everyone they know. Hence, everything they do is out in the open, and they no longer enjoy the feeling of exclusivity or privacy in indulging in their hobbies and fandoms.
In contrast, Tumblr gives them just this perfect blend of anonymity and opportunity to delve deep into their respective interests, along with allowing them to meet others who share the same likes.
But because Tumblr had turned down Facebook’s offer in favor of Yahoo!’s (and a healthy sum of 1.2 billion dollars is nothing to sneer at), Facebook has decided to try a different tactic: that is to face Tumblr head on instead by modifying their Notes system to have a more “Tumblr-like” functionality.
Facebook Notes gets a makeover of Tumblr-ian proportions
As mentioned above, Tumblr users enjoy the Tumblr interface far more than Facebook’s. In fact, it’s a well-known running joke with the users not to connect their Tumblr accounts to their Facebook, hinting on the exclusivity and privacy of their Tumblr blogs. Instead of updating about their lives, opinions, thoughts, and more on Facebook, they will do so on Tumblr. Anyone interested in the same thing could easily re-blog the post. Unlike on Facebook, Tumblr can allow a user to not truncate a post, and there is no character limit to the updates.
Facebook has decided to retaliate with Facebook Notes. Through the planned modification of the notes, Facebook could shift from drive-by updating to full Blog posts by using the notes. If filled with high quality content, it could pull in ad views and even move up against many competitors’ blogging platforms including Tumblr. Facebook has been at the head of the competition via fast updates, easy linking and sharing, accessibility like chat, and VoIP service from companies such as RingCentral. But Notes, it seems to be gearing for a serious blogging platform.
There is still a long way to go. For now, Tumblr is currently leaps and bounds ahead, owing to the fact that their user base is already so accustomed to the environment and the things that could be done with it. The posts have been exploited in every way possible including the seamless integration of photos to posts. This is something Facebook’s notes cannot do yet. Even animated GIFs can’t be used on Facebook right now, while Tumblr’s humor lifeblood seems to be in quirky Animated GIF form.
Also, Notes is still virtually unused. It’s probably the least-used aspect of Facebook, which is not really popular for blogging purposes. FB is seen more as a quick update of life. If Facebook plans on being even more competitive and boxing out Tumblr, it’s not only going to need to fix a great deal of privacy issues (Tumblr users value privacy, after all), but it would also have to work to make the Notes more engaging, visible, and altogether useful for everyone.
Chiastine Ross, a freelance article writer and contributor who focus more on technology, mainly Gadgets and all the latest trends which are interesting for readers and tech enthusiasts. You can reach her through Facebook, Twitter and Email.