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Tumblr Unveils New Web Look, Draws Inspiration from X for Navigation Revamp

17/8/23

By:

Mett.Ai Tech Desk

Platform Aims to Attract New Users with Familiar Design, Faces Backlash from Loyal User Base

Tumblr has announced the rollout of a redesigned web interface following a month-long testing phase with selected users. The revamped navigation interface bears a striking resemblance to the layout of X, formerly known as Twitter, with the navigation bar now positioned on the left side of the screen. Additionally, the "compose" button has been relocated to the lower-left corner of the interface, mirroring the placement on X.


In an official blog post, Tumblr explained that the change was implemented to enhance user experience and facilitate exploration for both new and existing users. The platform acknowledged that previous updates often introduced new icons to the navigation bar without sufficient explanation, leading to user confusion. As a solution, the new design incorporates text labels within the navigation bar to provide clearer context. This change has reportedly encouraged users to engage with previously unexplored sections of Tumblr.


The company emphasizes that user feedback collected during the testing phase was instrumental in refining the new look. Notable adjustments include relocating settings subpages (such as Account and Dashboard) from an expandable item in the left navigation to a dedicated section on the right side of the settings page. Additionally, improvements have been made to address issues with messaging windows on smaller screens. The Account section has also undergone streamlining to simplify access to users' blogs.


Looking ahead, Tumblr has outlined plans to introduce a collapsible version of the navigation bar and optimize screen space for users with larger displays. Efforts to enhance account and side blog accessibility are also in progress.


The timing of this redesign coincides with Tumblr's surge in user interest, spurred by Elon Musk's leadership at Twitter (now X) since last November. During this period, Tumblr reported a notable increase in app downloads, with a 58 percent rise in iOS installations and a 57 percent rise among Android users within the initial week of November.


Despite efforts to attract new users by emulating X's design, the transition has not been without controversy. Numerous Tumblr users have expressed their discontent with the new changes on X's platform, underscoring the platform's strong commitment to its established culture.


These changes follow recent revelations by Tumblr CEO Matt Mullenweg, who disclosed that the platform is currently operating at a deficit of around $30 million annually. This financial challenge is not entirely surprising considering Tumblr's history, having been founded in 2007 and later acquired by Yahoo for $1 billion in 2013. However, by 2019, Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, acquired Tumblr for a mere $3 million.


While Tumblr retains a loyal user base, it has faced hurdles in expanding its daily active user count since the implementation of a well-publicized ban on adult content. Given the platform's devoted user community, even minor alterations are met with resistance, highlighting the delicate balance between evolving the platform and preserving its unique identity.


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