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.)


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. 

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