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Tumblr Unveils Redesigned Web Interface, Draws Inspiration from X

Tumblr has introduced a fresh visual update for its web interface, following a month-long trial period with selected users. The redesigned navigation layout bears a resemblance to X, formerly known as Twitter, shifting the navigation bar to the left side of the screen. Additionally, the ‘compose’ button has been relocated to the lower left corner, mirroring X’s arrangement.

In a recent blog post, Tumblr explained that this redesign aims to enhance user-friendliness and facilitate seamless exploration of the platform’s content, catering to both newcomers and existing users. The company acknowledged its previous approach of introducing new icons to the navigation bar without ample context and noted that users are more inclined to interact when given explanatory text labels. This change has encouraged users to venture into previously unexplored areas of the platform.

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Drawing insights from user feedback during the testing phase, Tumblr has introduced several refinements to the new interface. Notable adjustments include relocating settings subpages (such as Account and Dashboard) from an expandable item on the left to a dedicated section on the right, addressing issues related to messaging window functionality on smaller screens, and streamlining the Account section for easier access to user blogs.

Looking ahead, Tumblr is exploring the possibility of introducing a collapsible version of the new navigation system, with an emphasis on optimizing screen real estate for users with larger displays. The platform is also committed to improving account and sideblog accessibility.

After Elon Musk assumed control of Twitter (now X) in the prior November, Tumblr experienced an influx of new users seeking an alternative social media outlet. During that period, CEO Matt Mullenweg reported significant surges in app downloads for both iOS (58% increase) and Android (57% increase) users within the first week of November.

According to data from data.ai accessed by the media, Tumblr’s app installs across iOS and Android totaled 880,000 in November, representing an upswing from 450,000 and 500,000 in September and October, respectively. However, downloads reverted to standard levels (ranging from 400,000 to 500,000 per month) in subsequent months.

In light of the persistent demand for Twitter alternatives, Tumblr seems to be strategically aligning itself with X’s interface to attract new users. Nevertheless, this shift has faced resistance from a portion of the Tumblr community, who have taken to X to voice their discontent.

These changes arrive a few weeks after Mullenweg disclosed that Tumblr operates at a yearly deficit of approximately $30 million. This financial situation isn’t entirely surprising, considering Tumblr’s history. Originally founded in 2007, the company was acquired by Yahoo for $1 billion in 2013. Yet, by 2019, Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, acquired Tumblr for a mere $3 million.