In what's been called "a huge change for Tumblr," the company just released a new update to its mobile applications that includes a trending tags and blogs discovery feature.
The new features are a step in Twitter's direction, providing users real-time information on what tags and blogs the community is talking about at any given moment—which so far have included slain teenager Trayvon Martin, NPR, and singer Selena Gomez. The new discovery tools on Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms, which were first spotted by Tumblr watchdog Andrea "bluechoochoo" Lopez, are the biggest changes Tumblr has made to its mobile interface since the company was purchased by Yahoo for $1.1 billion in late May.
"If you’re a news nerd, you know that some social platforms surface bursts of activity around words or accounts, and that this can be a critical tool to see 1) what’s going on 2) what people think of it 3) cultural impact/misinformation/memes/celebration/mourning 4) rapid-fire corrections/update," Lopez blogged.
So far, the new tools have accurately captured what the world is discussing, with tags like #egypt and #GTA V yo-yoing from the top spot all afternoon.
Egypt has been in the news over the past two weeks following countrywide protests that resulted in President Mohamed Morsi being run out of office. GTA V, which is short for Grand Theft Auto V, made big video game news today after new footage of the upcoming game was released.
Yet, as is often the case on Twitter, some of Tumblr's trending tags just make no sense at all.
The following are the 10 top trending tags on Tumblr as of 2pm EST.
1) #gta v: Video game producer Rockstar North is set to release the latest Grand Theft Auto installment on Sept. 17. The YouTube video it released today has already collected more than 143,000 likes.
2) #egypt: From GIFs of hundreds of laser pointers flashing in the streets to gut wrenching photos of funerals, Egypt continues to be a popular issue across all social media.
6) #mlb: With the NBA, NHL, and NFL all in their offseason, it's no surprise why the MLB is a top trending tag. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter playing for the first time since breaking his ankle last playoff season may also have something do with it.
7) #anthropology: Don't let the images of anthropology textbooks fool you. This tag is mostly full of people sharing images of clothes they bought at the retailer Anthropologie, despite Tumblr users spelling the store name incorrectly.
9) #summer reading: If you haven't picked out a book to read over the summer, this tag has plenty of suggestions for you.
Illustration by Jason Reed