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What Is Tumblr?
Tumblr is a social media platform created in 2007 by David Karp, which stemmed from Yahoo Inc. and was later sold to Verizon Media in 2017. Tumblr is a microblogging website, occupying a position in between the Twitter.com and traditional blogs. Since inception, Tumblr has served as a safe haven for various users seeking where they can freely and openly express their opinions, without any extreme restrictions.
Mic.com described Tumblr as “what introverts use to communicate to the outside world, without it, we are relegated to the corners of our rooms with nothing but our cats and corgis.” Tumblr is not only a blogging site but serves a multitude of creatives and artists looking for a free blog-hosting platform, as well as small e-commerce websites.
Why We Need Tumblr Alternatives?
Many of the Tumblr fans are switching sides due to a recent change in Tumblr Policy, especially the ban on NSFW (Not safe for work) contents and adult contents. The decision was met with lots of bad reviews from users who view the site as the right platform to enjoy adult content. Some users claimed they left simply because Tumblr has lost its functionality to the extent that nothing works right anymore, and none of the people over at the company have any intention of fixing it. Funnily, some users claimed they are seeking alternatives to Tumblr just because the company sold out to Yahoo Inc. for a whopping sum of $1.1 billion.
It is a clear fact there can never be a perfect alternative to Tumblr, they can only be as close as possible. Most users agreed that the blogging giant still has a role to play, but they find it necessary to look out for new sites, just in case the company brings an unbearable policy in the nearest future.
There are various Tumblr alternatives available on the world wide web now. You might have come across many of these platforms, without seeing them as potential alternatives to Tumblr. WordPress and Blogger are renowned giants in the blogging worlds, and people are trooping en mass to these platforms. In fact, WordPress announced it imported over 72,000 posts from Tumblr in just under an hour! The rate at which adults are picking sides is very interesting, and we think you might need help in picking sides too! Let us go down!
Best Tumblr Alternatives in 2019
Soup is a microblogging and social networking site from Austria. The platform allows users to upload reviews, quotes, links, videos, images, and text. Soup.io was classified as by Guardian as one of the essential 100 websites of 2009 and also claimed the APA-IT “Innovative IT-challenger” award in 2009.
Soup.io is famous for its simplicity and ease of use, you don’t even need to sign up to start using their service (but you need to sign up to make your microblog site public. Lol!). It does share some similarities with Tumblr but doesn’t deliver much in terms of the looks and feels. Users are allowed to change skins, coupled with some other advanced customization options to change colors and fonts, but many of these options are not near perfect. The platform is not so bad as an alternative to Tumblr but lacks the sleekness we are used to on Tumblr.
Overall, Soup.io lets users to easily aggregate activities from popular social websites and blogs like Flickr, Youtube, RSS Feed, or even Tumblr itself. The website amazing features include infinite content scrolling, re-posting of contents from other users on the platform (similar to reblogging on Tumblr), groups, video channels, custom Cascade Sheet Styling (CSS), and integration of domain names, amongst others. With all these free features for users, Soup.io has shown a promising future in the microblogging atmosphere as a Tumblr alternative and is surely a safe spot for Tumblr escapees.
- soup.io shares similar features with Tumblr
- Allows custom CSS editing and other customization options
- Users can auto post contents via email
- No custom plugins allowed
- No monetization support
- The User Interface is not the best
Medium, simply put, is an online publishing website launched in 2012 by Evan Williams. It has a hybrid/mixed with various professional and amateur journalists with several publications. It can best suitable for social journalism, and used for publishing writings and documents that cannot be accommodated in Twitter’s 280-character maximum.
As a platform developed with writing in mind, Medium does pack some amazing functions to attract new users, especially people looking for sites similar to Tumblr to publish their writings. For instance, you can import existing blog content from anywhere on the web with a click of a button! There are also editing options to tweak the imported content to match your taste and style.
As if the founders of Medium were expecting people to switch to their platforms in the future, they created a function to let you bring your audience along. Immediately you link your medium profile to your twitter and facebook IDs, Medium will sort out which of your audience are also on Medium and automatically links you with those people. Amazing!
Medium offers real engagement metrics, tells you how many people viewed your stories and how many read to the end! This is an important feature for writers, it helps you evaluate your posts and work on possible improvements. You can also start your own publication on Medium and gain more followers, and more audience.
Though Medium seems more like an online writers’ club, it is a great Tumblr alternative to consider. Writers may be comfortable with the platform, but it may not be the best place for the art people!
- Good infrastructure and focused on the quality of the platform
- Scheduling options, Private/Public posts
- Real engagement metrics
- Lack of customization flexibility
- Google analytics is not supported
- Best suited for authors, and not the general public
WordPress offers two platforms to its teeming audience; the wordpress.com and the WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a platform that offers users a free website hosting service with no initial setup. You only need to pick a name for your blog, choose from an endless list of themes, and then start dishing out your blog posts. The only comma here is that a wordpress.com domain name is attached to your website name (this can be removed by purchasing the premium package.
WordPress.org, on the other hand, is an open-sourced web software that can be used to run a website. It allows you a full customization control of your website (from the backend function.php codes to the CSS makeovers), and can be modified or expanded with Plugins and themes available for free! The WordPress core software is completely free and driven by a community of volunteers!
WordPress is the most popular blogging platform now! Even though it can be practically used for any website, be it Content Management Sites, e-commerce platforms, or community forums, WordPress is the most recommended alternative to Tumblr! There are no restrictions whatsoever (except of course by the one imposed by the site administrator), has the biggest collection of plugins available for a website software package, and is completely customizable!
For those looking to create a social platform, a community forum, or an online store/shop, all these can be done with a simple installation of the BuddyPress, bbforum, and the Woo-Commerce plugins respectively. Another reason you should consider WordPress over Tumblr is the huge developer community that offers supports or contributions! No matter what you are experiencing on WordPress, someone somewhere already faced that same problem, solved it, and documented the solution! So technically, you could say WordPress is a more advanced Tumblr.
- Most used blogging platform, and the most reliable
- WordPress boasts of strong administration features
- It has very a big community of supporters
- The wordpress.org platform offers you 100% control over your website.
- It has too many functions for a blogging platform, which might matter in terms of speed and ease of use
- The web-based post editor leaves much to be desired
Blogger is a full blog platform that was developed by Pyra Labs and which sold out to Google in 2003. The platform is completely free, the blogs are hosted on the Google servers and generally accessed from a blogspot.com subdomain. Blogger offers an easy and quick way to start a blog for non-tech savvy internet users who are just looking for a space to display their products (posts, of course) in the Global Internet market. And because the service is owned by Google, anyone using the Google mail platform (Gmail) automatically owns a Blogger account by default.
Blogger occupies a decent space in between the full-flag wordpress.org and Tumblr, in that it offers users a free blogging platform and allows them to customize to some extent, you could even own a custom domain name and link it directly to the Google Servers via DNS protocols.
The customization options of Blogger leaves much to be desired, as compared to WordPress, but is still pretty decent for Tumblr escapees. It offers a multitude of site themes and a drag-and-drop visual editor, along with the ability to add media to posts. However, Blogger lacks the many functional widgets and plugins found on other platforms like it. There are free themes, but they can hardly satisfy your taste, but you can hire web designers to help you with the beautiful custom theme your blog deserves. Internet users looking for sites like Tumblr will definitely fall in love with Blogger!
- Owned and backed by the giant Google.
- It is free and very easy to set up.
- Easy Adsense monetization option.
- Limited customization option
- It is not scalable
- Blogger has limited support for plugins
Mastodon is a Twitter-like self-hosted social media, and social networking service that allows anyone to host their own server on the network called “instances”. Each “instances” with its own rules and administrators, which makes up a “federation”, an approach that protects the integrity of the platform – since the servers are decentralized! The failure of an “instance” doesn’t affect the whole network. Users from different instances can seamlessly interact with each other. Weird right? Funnily, Mastodon is also a part of the bigger “Fediverse”, allowing Mastodon users to interact with users on other platforms that support the same protocol.
Mastodon is quite similar to other microblogging sites like Twitter. The User interface of the platform is almost like the design of Twitter’s Tweetdeck, with the segmented windows. Users can post up to 500 characters, which are called “toots” (tweets on Twitter) which other users can “boost” (Like on twitter).
Unlike Twitter (and Tumblr), Mastodon has a flexible approach to adult content. Each individual post can be marked as not-safe-for-work, and the media attachments are securely hidden with a content warning (CW) button, which is only displayed after the viewer choose to view them. Mastodon has an advanced media management feature which assists artists to control how their art is displayed.
Users can decide to show different image sizes and parts and setting different focal points when the images are viewed in different screen sizes. The Mastodon generated thumbnails have a less quality loss compared to other similar sites. Mastodon is growing bigger and larger because more Tumblr escapees are considering it as the ultimate Tumblr alternative. The platform now boasts of 2 million users and over 2,000 servers, and better alternative to Tumblr.
- Mastodon runs a completely decentralized server system
- Different types of content are hosted on dedicated servers
- A non-algorithmic, chronological and Ad-free feed.
- Mastodon can be quite confusing at first but gets more familiar over time.
Ever heard of Posterous? Yeah! It was that up-and-coming blogging platform Twitter acquired and murdered! The founders of the victim created and launched another platform to technically rescue the survivors of the old Posterous blogs and vowed to keep the new platform immortal and alive till eternity!
Well, to keep this promise and to save the new blogging platform from bully’s like Twitter, the developers attached a five-dollar monthly fee! This new platform is called Posthaven! And it is already showing positive sign like the best Tumblr alternative (or perhaps successor). It might it interest you to know that Posthaven already thumped Tumblr in the “What are the best-hosted blogs” questions, where Posthaven was ranked 3rd while Tumblr occupied the 4th position! With a $5/month fee, you own a blog account with up to 10 different blogs.
Posthaven packs some really enticing features! For instance, you can compose a post and send it by email to email@example.com along with any attachments such as photos, music, video, and docs you want to add to the post and it will be posted to your blog automatically. Other features include email notifications of blog activity, password-protected blogs, and posts having media contents. But the biggest downside still remains that the platform is not entirely free, and there are not free trial versions! Your five dollars or nothing!
- Guaranteed lifetime usage!
- Supports auto posting via email
- Minimalistic, but balanced features
- It is not free, and there is no trial version
- Does not offer supports for monetization
Ghost is designed for users who run a publication business with a large audience and looking for professional software to manage their content. It is a completely independent platform that gives you the total power over your content and the audience. Ghost allows users to host the software on their own domain for free or pay Ghost for a premium service to take care of the technical stuff.
However, Ghost is not a network of users, so it doesn’t offer the Leadership and followership functions seen in other platforms like Mastodon and Soup. It is just between you, your content, and your audience – Like a mini-Wordpress. Ghost has a robust infrastructure and amazing features. There is a full-blown rich editor equipped with responsive cards that totally simplifies content formatting.
Switching from Tumblr to this ghostly Tumblr alternative is pleasant, because the Ghost interface is quite similar to Tumblr, especially with themes. The main difference is that Ghost allows you to do more in terms of customization. Ghost also claimed to have “the best support for search engine optimization and social sharing features of any blogging platform in the world”, you don’t need to meddle with codes or install new plugins to optimize your blog for the web, Ghost does that for you automatically. And isn’t that what a blog needs? Ghost is the best Tumblr alternative for bloggers who want to do more of blogging than web designing.
- The dashboard is powerful, fast and responsive
- Supports a collaborative posting and direct code injection
- Features a real-time automatic formatting
- It is simple and flexible
- It is still in the beta testing phase
- Ghosts do not have plugins.
Pillowfort has gain reputable recognition as an alternative to Tumblr ever since the community announced a ban on its NSFW contents. Pillowfort is like the big mummy at an orphanage ready to welcome the Tumblr orphans with open arms and show them to their new rooms in their new home. It allows people to post written text, photos, GIFs, Illustrations, and share them with the community.
Pillowfort.io is designed to promote community activities, like-minded connections, and content sharing – including the lovely NSFW contents. Users can join communities and find other users who share the same ideologies. There is also a private messaging feature, a nested comment threads, and a built-in blacklisting feature that lets you hide posts containing specified tags and keywords.
Pillowfort’s aim is to give users more control over how their content can be used in the community. Control options include setting includes content reblogging, viewability, you can delete any unwanted comment, delete all instances of your posts no matter where they are, and lots more privacy options.
However, Pillowfort is a work in progress and is not yet ready to accommodate the millions of #tumblrrefugees seeking sites like Tumblr. But it should be fully ready soonest, hopefully.
- Pillowfort works very similar to Tumblr
- Gives users more control over the privacy of their contents
- It is still under development
Newgrounds is one the best web 2.0 site enjoying the result of the NSFW ban on Tumblr, in fact, it was the first to throw its arms wide open to Tumblr escapees. Newgrounds is an American social media website that allows the user to post contents for free. The site was created by Tom Fulp in 1995. The contents on the website are classified into four main categories; Games, Movies, Audio, and Art.
Newgrounds has lax NSFW policy (I doubt if there is any) and this is exactly what some Tumblr users are looking for, especially the memes creators and sexual bloggers. Users can submit Flash content such as Flash games or animations and can rate and vote submissions from other users on a scale of 0 – 5.
There is an audio portal where artists can submit and share their works to the community for free and can be used for remixes under the Creative Commons License. The art portal allows is a platform for all art genre or medium, similar to the Audio portal.
We just cannot mention good content hosting sites without mentioning Dreamwidth. Dreamwidth is an online journal community built on open access, transparency, freedom, and respect. The website is based on the codebase of LiveJournal, and therefore most features are similar to those of LiveJournal. Here, users run journals, where contents are posted on individual webpages, and on which other users can comment. The platform focuses more on user privacy, control, and freedom rather than advertising, VC funding and the corporate model.
Dreamwidth has somehow found its way into the blogosphere thanks to the ban on NSFW ban on Tumblr, and more and more people are considering the platform. Dreamwidth has been around for quite a period of time now and the platform is somewhat stable, compared to other new platforms, but it is just experiencing the massive exposure and will have to do more to accommodate the incoming Tumblr escapees.