Tumblr. We’ve all heard about this dark side of the web which not all of us have ventured into. Unfortunately, I’m one of those who did – in 2011 to be exact (the good ole’ days). For those of you who aren’t entirely sure what I’m on about, Tumblr is a ‘microblogging platform’ where you can have your own blog and ‘re-post’ or ‘like’ things as with many other social media sites. Audience participation is the fundamental feature of this site. It’s what gets 120,000 people to sign up daily.
Many celebrities such as Taylor Swift, now have Tumblr and use it to talk to their fans.
They usually follow a lot of fan-based blogs and this is where they’ll repost most of their content from. Along with the ‘Ask’ feature , Tumblr have newly introduced a ‘chat’ feature (about time!!) where you can instant message blogs that follow you (as long as you’re following them – kind of like ‘DMs’ on Twitter). Tumblr is another platform, that like YouTube, enables the barrier between the ‘star’ and the ‘fan’ to be broken down. There is also a clear sense of community present, as everyone has the option to comment on anything (even though 90% of comments made are immature).
Tumblr users have also used their blogs as a way to express their opinions on the site. As a result of YAHOO buying Tumblr, the site has become hugely commercialised which was seen a negative thing by users. Positives of this, however, meant that users complained about the lack of features and the owners of Tumblr were able to read the protests which led to various updates being made, making the site more user-friendly. This is an example of audience participation and the power it holds.