Tumblr announced a new feature is coming to the web, iOS, and Android version of Tumblr. Not for everyone though. Only 1,500 users will initially get the new instant messaging feature, and can invite other friends into the system by starting a chat with them. Yahoo, who bought Tumblr for $1 billion, expects all of its users to have the feature by December.
The feature will help fend off trolls by not allowing anonymous users to message you, along with being able to block anyone you’ve previously messaged. The interface is slick, and as responsive as Google Hangouts or Facebook Messenger is. Tumblr says it didn’t want to copy any other messaging service, and tailored the service for the behaviours of users and community at large.
While Tumblr may be “Facebookalizing” instant messaging for any app or social network has become insanely popular. Tumblr is a place for teens to be them true selves by sharing memes that relate and connect with strangers on their blogs. If a few strangers connect and have a meaningful conversation because of Tumblr’s new instant messenger things won’t be so bad. The company knew trolls would be a large problem for many users and set out tools to prevent this in the first place, but it still won’t stop all of them.
Tumblr’s also introducing messaging to different itself from Medium, who recently introduced a lot of features similar to the social blogging service. Medium’s always focused on long form, meaningful, and insightful content with commenting through highlighting and feedback. Tumblr’s always been about community, memes, an expressing yourself anyway you want. And the company’s embracing that by giving the community a useful tool to communicate with friends and complete strangers.
Tumblr’s instant messaging is only in its early stages, and with time the service will grow to fit the site and its community even better with more features and tools. Tell us what you think about Tumblr’s instant messenger in the comments below!