Tumblr’s Core Product Strategy

Here at Tumblr, we’ve been working hard on reorganizing how we work in a bid to gain more users. A larger user base means a more sustainable company, and means we get to stick around and do this thing with you all a bit longer. What follows is the strategy we’re using to accomplish the goal of user growth. The @labs group has published a bit already, but this is bigger. We’re publishing it publicly for the first time, in an effort to work more transparently with all of you in the Tumblr community. This strategy provides guidance amid limited resources, allowing our teams to focus on specific key areas to ensure Tumblr’s future.

The Diagnosis

In order for Tumblr to grow, we need to fix the core experience that makes Tumblr a useful place for users. The underlying problem is that Tumblr is not easy to use. Historically, we have expected users to curate their feeds and lean into curating their experience. But this expectation introduces friction to the user experience and only serves a small portion of our audience. 

Tumblr’s competitive advantage lies in its unique content and vibrant communities. As the forerunner of internet culture, Tumblr encompasses a wide range of interests, such as entertainment, art, gaming, fandom, fashion, and music. People come to Tumblr to immerse themselves in this culture, making it essential for us to ensure a seamless connection between people and content. 

To guarantee Tumblr’s continued success, we’ve got to prioritize fostering that seamless connection between people and content. This involves attracting and retaining new users and creators, nurturing their growth, and encouraging frequent engagement with the platform.

Our Guiding Principles

To enhance Tumblr’s usability, we must address these core guiding principles.

  1. Expand the ways new users can discover and sign up for Tumblr.
  2. Provide high-quality content with every app launch.
  3. Facilitate easier user participation in conversations.
  4. Retain and grow our creator base.
  5. Create patterns that encourage users to keep returning to Tumblr.
  6. Improve the platform’s performance, stability, and quality.

Below is a deep dive into each of these principles.

Keep reading

Hi folks! We’re surprised to see how many of you think we’re getting rid of the reverse-chronological dashboard or pivoting to a solely algorithmic feed. We’re not! We can see how you might have come to that conclusion, so let us reassure you and clear some things up.

We have a ton of options and toggles to customize your experience. Want a reverse-chronological dashboard feed? No problem! The chronological feed is not going anywhere. Just toggle off “Best Stuff First” in your dashboard settings and scroll away. Want to see more art or fanfic of your favorite movie or show? Follow some tags and you’ll find additional posts and new blogs to follow. We’ve had an algorithm for years—we just don’t make you use it if you don’t want to.

Tumblr is a place where you can tailor and customize your experience to individual preferences. With this core product strategy as guidance, we’ll keep improving Tumblr for new and existing users alike.