Tumblr was founded on Feburary 1, 2007 after years of development by New York native David Karp. The overall concept of tumblr is a miniature form of blogging called 'tumblelogging', originally invented by German high school student Chris Neukirchen. His site, Anarchaia, inspired two Americans named Marcel Molina and Sam Stephenson, who created the Projectionist. The Projectionist in turn served as visual inspiration for Karp and he ended up combining the two sites to create tumblr.
Tumblr may appear daunting at first sight, but from the moment a user signs up, the site guides them with pop up dialogue boxes and arrows indicating different features. The first and most important aspect is the name of the user's blog, which doubles as their profile name. They can also customize their profile picture for others to identify them.
The dashboard is where most microblogging happens. Users can choose to post texts, which are usually brief, photos, quotes, links, chats, audio or video files! That's a lot of options and part of the reason why tumblr has become so popular. It's easy to navigate, visually appealing and a user can see all everything they need in one place.
Microblogging is a shorter and more frequent form of blogging, without many limitations.
Arguably one of tumblr's greatest achievements is the ability to give users completely customizable blogs. With a little HTML and CSS knowledge, single column, grid and container themes allow bloggers to express their aesthetic.
If users would prefer not to take on the challenge of coding their own theme, they could choose from tumblr's very own or themes created by other bloggers. Take theme-hunters, for example!
Similar to Facebook, tumblr allows users to instantly chat with one another rather than waiting on their ask box to fill up. This feature could be useful for discussing various events happening all over the world, sending a favorite tumblr user praise (which is more common than you think) and much more.
Users can also send GIFs, which appears to be the most popular way to respond to anything nowadays.
Unsurprisingly, the most popular way of using tumblr is through their mobile application. When the staff realized this, they gave users the ability to customize their mobile blog with a header, color scheme and various fonts!
Karp admitted, "If I could go back and do it all over again, I would've done a lot of things differently. I'm all for free speech, but I wanted tumblr to be a place to share fresh, bold ideas about the world. Instead, it became a place for sexually repressed women to complain about men like me. Everyone knows the old Oppenheimer quote, 'I am death, the destroyer of worlds', well tumblr's slogan at this point should be, 'I am angst, destroyer of laughter'."
Tumblr hosts an anonymous messaging system, inviting trolls and other malicious users to attack other users virtually without consequence.
Promoting a space for freedom of expression, tumblr allows users to post age restricted content on their blogs including pornography, racism, sexism, etc.
Tumblr serves many ‘niche’ communities and unfortunately, the collective mindset among these communities can be filled with peer pressure.
Following Yahoo! acquisition of tumblr in 2015, the microblogging platform’s revenue and user base began to dwindle. Tumblr never returned to its full capability.