I Tumbl For You
Love Thy Developers
Late last week, David Karp announced a number of changes to Tumblr triumphantly billed as “An upgrade, years in the making…” In order to make room for “BIG new” features, such as customizable drag-and-drop photoset creation, faster uploads, and inline reblogging, he said, “we’ve reduced creation on Tumblr to its essence, while carrying over every single feature.”
But a number of Tumblr users–more than 18,000 of them, in fact–don’t see the change as an improvement. They’ve signed a petition on Change.org–a platform more typically used to advocate for social justice–to “Undo the 1/24/2013 update that screwed up the posting procedure.”
Texas-based developer Manny Mendez launched the independent Tumblr directory FindTumblr.com about a month or two ago. It had about 50 users, mainly in his town of Corpus Christi, he told Betabeat in an email. But Mr. Mendez revisited the site this weekend and made a few changes, and suddenyl the directory was slammed with about 100,000 visits. Betabeat noticed a tweet from Reuters blogger and social media powerhouse Anthony DeRosa, who had listed his Tumblr; but when we clicked through, the link spit out Tumblr’s error page. It turns out Tumblr had banned the app, which called to mind the recent dust-up over the popular “Missing e” extension, during which Tumblr threatened to pull the developer’s personal blog if he didn’t cease and desist. Considering Tumblr has been building its own directory for several months, Betabeat wondered if the startup was merely trying to quash the competition.
But after a harried day of noncommunication, Mr. Mendez says the signs look good for his directory.
Taking a Tumble
With Turntable.fm‘s traffic coming in at lower levels than expected this month, investor Fred Wilson has written two very salient blog posts this week: the announcement of a new Turntable feature that should encourage activity on the site and an equally-appropriate post entitled “After the Hype.” “Forget about the hot app crowd,” he writes. “They may or may not be back.”
Get Off My Tumblrs
Reuters social media editor Anthony “SoupSoup” DeRosa is an avid Tumblr user who recently walked away from the platform in frustration after one too many problems with the service. He published a long piece today about the ways in which Tumblr is working to manage its massive growth and got an interview with Tumblr founder David Karp.
As has been the case in Tumblr’s dealing with fallout from Rich Tong’s fashion week proposal and conflicts with the developer behind the popular extension Missing e, Mr. Karp offered no apologies for the way his company was coping with its growing pains.
Love Thy Developers
Jeremy Cutler, the developer of the fast-iterating and popular Tumblr add-on Missing e, still hopes to negotiate a compromise with the blogging network.
Last week, Tumblr told Mr. Cutler to stop distributing the extension–a free download, although Mr. Cutler gets some donations from happy users–or Tumblr would delete his personal blog in retaliation.
“Browser extensions that materially modify Tumblr’s experience are currently forbidden by our Terms of Service and it is imperative that any such modifications follow Tumblr’s Application Developer and API License Agreement,” Tumblr’s counsel Ari Shahdadi wrote in an email to Mr. Cutler outlining Tumblr’s 11 objections, including that various features violate the Terms of Service, developer and API agreements, employ page scraping and duplicate Tumblr functionality.
Mr. Cutler had proposed making certain changes addressing some of Tumblr’s objections, but the startup seems uninterested in a compromise. On Friday, Tumblr requested that Mr. Cutler shut down Missing e within ten days.
Things don’t look good for Canadian developer Jeremy Cutler, who created a popular browser extension that modifies the Tumblr interface in several neat ways, including tweaks to the navigation, the ability to reblog yourself as well as a faster way to add tags and replies, a feature that opens all posts from the dashboard in a new tab, and on and on. “Missing e” has been shared 800 times via Twitter, 3,000 times via Facebook and 240 times via Google+. But Tumblr-proper is unhappy about the extension because it interferes with control over user experience (among other reasons), and has threatened to shut down Mr. Cutler’s personal Tumblr if he doesn’t cease and desist.