Tumblr to ban “adult content” creators

Tumblr to ban "adult content" creators #art #tumblr
Tumblr to ban "adult content" creators #art #tumblr

I'm not surprised Apple banned Tumblr from its App Store for supporting a bunch of porn. But I am surprised Tumblr will ban the entire “adult content” category on December 17 so you won't see some of the more risque artsy images. Most creators will be hoping that the social network — driven primarily by advertising dollars — will continue to support creative expression.

As David Bowie once alluded to, the internet thrives and perhaps decays in the gray area

Art by hadar_pinchon & phoenix 


Verizon buys Yahoo and by default, Tumblr

Verizon is buying Yahoo’s search and advertising operations for $5bn, which includes one of my favorite websites: Tumblr.

When Yahoo bought Tumblr, I knew it would be neglected like Yahoo’s other property: Flickr. Flickr could’ve been Instagram in the mobile era, except it did not seize the growth of mobile. Meanwhile, Tumblr has been too slow to evolve in the mobile, video-first era.

“Tumblr has just added live video, and it's six months late. That’s years in the technology world” – Eleni Marouli, analyst at IHS Markit

Tumblr also missed out on a format it popularized, the GIF, which gave rise to sites like Giphy. However, the content on Tumblr still amazes me.


Tumblr’s creative community remains intact. By all means, Instagram still hosts its blog on Tumblr. Instagram is also the most followed Tumblr account. Tumblr still fills the void of other social networks: it is a place where you aggregate the best of elsewhere, just as you would decorate your bedroom walls.

Tumblr can go on. Reddit is still kicking. The weird sites survive. Being in the hands of Verizon can be no worse than operating under the tortoise that is Yahoo.

Social Media Roundup

  1. In the never ending use or news about selfies, Selfie the app gets an official release. Even if the app bombs at least there’s equity in the domain name. Plus, Hyperlapse now enables a front-view camera so people can take Hyperselfies.

  2. Ello is a new social network and making the rounds on Twitter. It apparently signed up 34k prior in just two days. Ello is clean and allows private fabricated names, unlike our dear friend Facebook. I personally have no interest in Ello. I’m already stretched to the limits on other social networks.

  3. Snapchat is killing it with curation. I got to relive Derek Jeter’s last game via Snapchat Live. Snapchat curated content shared to Stories which are for public viewing. A Live feed for the Hong Kong protests could be very interesting right now.

  4. The messaging app wars are heating up. What you use really depends on where you live and how you want to communicate: publicly, in s group, or in private? The overall trend is clear: content must expire.

  5. Here are the optimal times to post on social media. Tumblr is apparently for night owls.

Platforms of Choice

I always ask younger people their social network of choice just to make sure what the stats say match up with reality.

Mobile First

Almost 9/10 say Instagram is their primary network while Snapchat is used on occasion. Facebook goes unmentioned because it’s just part of everyday life, like reading the newspaper or checking email. Consumption is assumed.

Very few people I talk to say that Twitter is their first choice. However, those who do claim the network to be indispensable. Twitter is their tool for discovery, sharing, and online discourse. Not surprisingly, these people are mostly writers and heavy readers.

The Others

Tumblr and Pinterest are always mentioned as ancillary networks that are fun, useful, and niche but not to die for.

Flickr never gets mentioned. And neither does Path, Highlight, nor Secret. It’s not surprising that these are all apps more popular in Silicon Valley than amongst common users. Nerds rarely create waves of mass adoption.


Instagram is killing it. It’s the best way to tell edited and sometimes raw stories about your life. People communicate in pictures. Since Instagram grew up as a mobile app first, every UI and UX aspect of the app is optimized for mobile devices.

Facebook has done a good job in allowing Instagram to operate on its own terms and market itself outside the social networking Goliath. But in a few years Instagram will too be normalized and a new social-sharing phenomenon (probably a more private one) will be the talk of the town. Facebook, too, is covered there with WhatsApp.

Blogging types

There are three types of blogging:

  • Fast – Twitter
  • Medium – Tumblr/Medium
  • Slow – WordPress

Twitter is a micro-blog because you write in a succinct 140 characters or less to get your message across. Naturally, Twitter is for breaking news and conversation.

Tumblr is a bit slower then Twitter. The feed is lighter and the posts are lengthier, capable of mixing all media types: Images, videos, GIFs. Tumblr is a social network on top of a blog, but it's more about showing inspiration rather than snarky conversation.

WordPress is a more traditional form of blogging. It allows for stories and thicker analysis. The platform is customizable but the content feels more rigid, like a news site.

As a blogger, I prefer to first write for the medium paced thinkers. Tumblr allows me to post a juicer piece like this without rambling on too much as well as a quote or photo to express myself, kind of like a pin board.

But it really doesn't matter which format you choose. Just share what you think is interesting. Teach the world something new. Show people that you have the ability to think or synthesize other people's thoughts. Think and create out loud. Just avoid using your blog to complain.

Here's some more advice on blogging if you're interested.

Ev Williams’ Medium is Blogging for the 9%

“Medium occupies the space in-between WordPress and Tumblr.”

Medium is a great publishing platform for the occasional blogger. I actually enjoy writing in its minimalist environment more than I do publishing on it.

But I feel the same way about Medium as I did when I first started Twitter. I get it and I don’t get it at the same time.  That intuitive nature is what makes it feel obvious.  

“Here’s the formula if you want to build a billion-dollar internet company…Take a human desire, preferably one that has been around for a really long time…Identify that desire and use modern technology to take out steps.” CEO Ev Williams, Medium

Medium is just another platform hosting what people already enjoy, i.e. expressing themselves in more than 140 characters but not as a long as a book or Long Read.

The main reason I like writing on Tumblr is that it’s a creative platform for blogging original content, and curating and consuming stuff you like. Meanwhile, Medium is Tumblr with a focus on original text.  

Online writing platform succeed because people want to express themselves.  And at the end of the day, people want to share where users already are.

According to Marketing Charts, Twitter is “more important” than Facebook, contrary to the recent news about Twitter users losing interest.   It’s also growing rapidly among the 18 - 29 age bracket.  Twitter may be less niche and more mass than you think.   The most important news though is that Tumblr is flat which means the creatives still rule the platform.    
According to Marketing Charts, Twitter is “more important” than Facebook, contrary to the recent news about Twitter users losing interest.   It’s also growing rapidly among the 18 – 29 age bracket.  Twitter may be less niche and more mass than you think.   The most important news though is that Tumblr is flat which means the creatives still rule the platform.    

Facebook: Get In To Get Out

Facebook’s mission is distraction rather than connection.

People log in to Facebook and forget why they visited in the first place.  The whole experience is a complete time suck.

The real value in a social network is in its utility.  For the most part, people wander into Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr seeking information (world news, inspiration, and tips) that they can actually use.

Facebook excels in providing a sticky environment for wasting time, turning users into lemmings.  It woos the mindless by seemingly curing boredom.

Why even post, feeding the beast with more irrelevance?  Go in to scratch the itch and leave as soon as possible.

Facebook is a trap.  It wants to own everyone’s free time.