Tumblr’s new notification feed: Is Tumblr trying to one-up Facebook?

To all the Tumblr lovers out there: Your dashboard is about to start feeling a little bit like Facebook. According to the Tumblr Staff blog, the blogging platform-cum-meme factory is testing a new feature that shows real-time notifications on the dashboard. But the feature does beg the question: Does a notification feed reveal Tumblr’s long game for social content?

The update itself is a simple one; while logged into your dashboard, you’ll see a live feed of people you follow interacting with your posts alongside what you’re blogging and reblogging. If you ever wanted a better sense of how people interact with your GIFs and cat videos, this makes things much easier. Especially to those with active followings like, say, F*** Yeah Game of Thrones – just as a for instance. While you can’t see what your followers are blogging and reblogging in the feed, that development may hopefully still be in the works. 

Moreover, the feature, at first blush, resembles the Facebook’s News Ticker, which similarly displays what your friends Like and Share in real-time. Facebook debuted the News Ticker back in 2011, and, though it met with a less than enthused response, it helped solidify Facebook’s intention of burrowing its way deeper into your Internet consumption habits. Something that may be backfiring on the House of Zuck, as new research shows more people taking prolonged breaks from Facebook.

What this means for Tumblr as a platform is hard to nail down right now. The kind of immediacy that notifications lend themselves to would imply that Tumblr is further embracing it’s place as one of the top meme-sharing platforms on the Web, hitting the top 10 among all sites in the US last fall.

However, Tumblr has long been trying to distance itself from its reblogging heritage in favor of promoting original content. If you recall, Tumblr CEO David Karp told us last November that, of the 80 million blogs on the site, only 10 to 15 percent are devoted to original content. To balance the scales, Tumblr invested heavily into its own editorial operations, but it remains to be seen how that project will hash out. Editorials and images sourced directly to their creators could benefit from such a feed, and in turn attract more users to the service.

The advent of a notifications feed could be a boon for Tumblr users, but how Tumblr utilizes it to surface things users might want to share, original or otherwise, remains to be seen. Either way, you’ll definitely want to check the engaging new feature.

Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

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.

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Social Media

Dine and dash(board): Make a Yelp reservation from your car’s control panel

Already in the car, but can't decide where to eat? Yelp Reservations can now be added to some dashboard touchscreens. Yelp Reservations searches for restaurants within 25 miles of the vehicle's location.

Hackers sold 120 million private Facebook messages, report says

Up to 120 million private Facebook messages were being sold online by hackers this fall. The breach was first discovered in September and the messages were obtained through unnamed rogue browser extensions. 
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.

Switch up your Reddit routine with these interesting, inspiring, and zany subs

So you've just joined the wonderful world of Reddit and want to explore it. With so many subreddits, however, navigating the "front page of the internet" can be daunting. You're in luck -- we've gathered 23 of the best subreddits to help…
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.

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."