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Tumblr adds instant messaging to web, mobile apps

By Shawn Knight
Nov 11, 2015
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  1. Tumblr is actively rolling out a new feature that’ll make it easier for bloggers and followers to keep in touch: instant messaging.

    Tumblr is taking a cautious approach to the rollout in order to give the company time to work out all of the kinks. Initially, only 1,500 users will have access to instant messaging. On a support page, Tumblr notes that users will receive the messaging feature when a friend who already has it messages you and so on. Within a few weeks, however, everyone will have access to it.

    To see if you’re one of the lucky few that received the feature from the start, simply check your dashboard for a little smiley balloon icon. Those using a mobile app will need to make sure they have the latest version installed.

    It’s also worth noting that messaging will replace fan mail. Existing fan mail conversations will remain intact but going forward, you’ll need to use messages for correspondence.

    Messaging is an important feature for Tumblr. As Fortune notes, it’s quite remarkable that Tumblr has remained relevant for so long (it turns nine in February). In fact, active user count has increase an impressive 94 percent over the past year, putting its user base at an estimated 500 million. That’s far fewer than Facebook but much closer to, say, Instagram.

    Even still, as the publication correctly points out, it’s a broadcasting service in an age of conversation. Real-time messaging could be just what the platform needs to give it a pulse among the people.

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