A year in the life of Tumblr
And now at 8.4B monthly PVs
Note from Ron: In the last few days I have drawn to the conclusion that Tumblr is poising itself to be sold or pick up another round of investment money.
It has taken some time, but after seeing the layers of what I’d call flat out incompetence, I started to notice a pattern. A pattern like a PR firm would recommend that Tumblrs staff follow. Don’t reply directly to issues, don’t acknowledge spam publicly, don’t apologize for errors publicly or drastically undersell them etc. Tumblr cannot possibly be oblivious to the fact that nearly 80% or daily account sign ups are often spam. They also cannot possibly care so little about users to allow this to happen freely. So they hire a bigger support staff to deal with existing problems, rather than a few boffins to figure out how to completely stop the problems. Rather than delete spam accounts flat out, they block user options to fix the issue? They also continue to refuse to publicly acknowledge the major issue of spam accounts and list a few simple things users can do to avoid them.
So while John posts the traffic growth above, the user experience on Tumblr has undoubtedly gone down in this same year. The only way you care more about one number than the other is when you have your eyes on the prize. To quote a user on Metafilter “If You’re Not Paying for It; You’re the Product.” I am willing to bet the a lot of Tumblrs staff hates this and can’t wait to leave. I’ve been there when becoming bigger became more important than better and it sucks.