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Tumblr users launch petition against latest design changes

Tumblr's new posting interface makes it less like a blogging platform and more like a social network, according to 18,000 dissatisfied users.


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Jan 29, 2013   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 2:31 am CDT

More than 18,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Tumblr to roll back changes it has made to its posting method.

The changes instituted on Jan. 25 allow users to post content without having to navigate away from the dashboard, which is the hub for all Tumblr users.

The dashboard is the heart of a Tumblr account, a near-perfect mix of Twitter’s discovery tools and Facebook’s News Feed that has pleased die hard blogging fans and social media addicts alike. This small change has apparently tipped the scales slightly toward the latter.

And blogging fans are none too happy.

A petition urging the company to “give Tumblr users back the posting on seperate pages” has collected 18,214 digital signatures.

The biggest complaint? Stop making Tumblr look like Twitter and Facebook, commented Alison Z.

“The reason users love Tumblr is because of its unique blogging platform,” Rachel Iseman commented.”The internet doesn’t need another social networking site like Facebook or Twitter. There are already plenty of those. There is only one site like Tumblr.”

The recent changes have also done away with Tumblr’s pin and highlight features, which allowed users to emphasize posts for $5 and $2, respectively. The pin feature, in particular, was labeled as “annoying” by most users because of how it pinned content to the top of a user’s dashboard.

“Good Riddance!” peasnpickles commented on Tumblr. “They were so annoying!”

Tumblr has not commented on the removal of the pin and highlight features. In December, Tumblr’s director of design Peter Vidani explained how changes to the site’s user interface are incremental.

“The obvious reason this is good is so that you’re not scaring everybody,” Vidani said. “By doing this we can learn a lot from each change we make and that will inevitably affect the other changes we thought we wanted to make.”

The design change comes at a crucial time for Tumblr, which is trying to balance its monetary responsibilities and its user experience. For the past six years, Tumblr has done a good job at striking that balance. But as the current user complaints show, even incremental changes can be big enough to cause a backlash.

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*First Published: Jan 29, 2013, 4:10 pm CST