Tumblr takes to the Timeline and will start working with third party developers

tumblr devsUnlike its blogging brethren, Tumblr has never been much of an integration-happy application. The site that arguably set the stage for the current state of blogging (and reblogging and retweeting and repinning) as we know it has somewhat kept to itself, while others like Pinterest and Instagram have been happy to open their APIs and let the developer world go to work.

But a couple of moves on Tumblr’s part make it look like it’s considering changing tactics. In the baby steps department, the platform announced today that it’s become a Facebook Timeline application. This means that when you publish something using the site you can automatically send it to the Facebook where it will be featured in your Timeline. You can head over to your Tumblr settings right now to decide how much you want to send to Facebook. (Don’t worry, everything you read on Tumblr is not going to be ported over like with news reader apps.)

tumblr

As with other Timeline apps, your Tumblr activity will be grouped specifically so that it’s not randomly peppering your profile. It’s a nice visual way to collect what you’re pushing to Facebook.

In bigger news, Tumblr is looking for someone to lead its API community. “Tumblr is looking for a software engineer to head up development of our external APIs, and act as liaison to the development community at large. For this role, we’re targeting the most elusive combination of skills: the social programmer,” a job posting from Tumblr reads.

It looks like the site is ready to lend its platform out to developers and see what they can come up with. It’s a path many companies seem to travel these days, including young startups hoping to define themselves as platforms. It’s becoming more and more important to we users that a strong, creative app ecosystem is in place (or in the works even) before we tie ourselves to a product. It’s not all smooth sailing of course: coexisting with a third party development community can be like walking a tight wire.

Which is where Tumblr’s veteran Web status will likely come into play. The site has been around since 2007, making it fairly experienced in Internet years.  Now it’s time to translate all that blogging and reblogging into complementary products that reignite some interest and excite its users. 

Product Review

It's not a spy, but you still won't want to friend Facebook's Portal+

Facebook has jumped into the smart home game with the Portal+, a video-calling device featuring an Amazon Alexa speaker and a screen. While it has lots of cool calling features, we’re weary of Facebook taking up counter space in our home.
Mobile

Tumblr for iOS vanishes from App Store, possibly due to inappropriate content

Tumblr for iOS is currently only allowing searches in Safe Mode, and it is not available on the App Store. The speculation is that the app's disappearance had something to do with inappropriate content.
Social Media

Going incognito: Here's how to appear offline on Facebook

How do you make sure your friends and family can't see if you're on Facebook, even if you are? Here, we'll show you how to turn off your active status on three different platforms, so you can browse Facebook without anyone knowing.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
Social Media

Facebook opens pop-up stores at Macy’s, but they’re not selling the Portal

Facebook has opened pop-up stores at multiple Macy's, though they're not selling Facebook's new Portal device. Instead, they're showcasing small businesses and brands that are already popular on Facebook and Instagram.
Social Media

Facebook Messenger will soon let you delete sent messages

A feature coming to Facebook Messenger will let you delete a message for up to 10 minutes after you send it. The company promised the feature months ago and this week said it really is on its way ... "soon."
Social Media

Pinterest brings followed content front and center with full-width Pin format

Want to see Pinterest recommendations, or just Pins from followed users? Now Pinners can choose with a Pinterest Following feed update. The secondary feed eliminates recommendation and is (almost) chronological.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.
Social Media

Facebook is rolling out a Messenger ‘unsend’ feature, and here’s how to use it

Facebook is starting to roll out a "remove message" feature for its Messenger app. It lets you delete a message in a thread within 10 minutes of sending it, and replaces it with a note telling recipients that it's been removed.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.