Imagine it's the 2010s; you're listening to Lana del Rey's Summertime Sadness and you're scrolling through everyone’s favourite microblogging site Tumblr. 

In its prime, Tumblr wasn't just a social networking platform. It was a lifestyle … an aesthetic, even. Just think of how many people were dying to achieve the 'Tumblr' look. And this opens up an interesting conversation on how social media can influence pop culture and vice versa. 

But as these things usually go, there came a point when users somewhat forgot about using Tumblr, and platforms like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat were all the rage. 

Nevertheless, what was the reason users migrated away from this platform and is Tumblr really making a comeback? 

Let's investigate:

What happened to Tumblr in the first place?

At its peak, Tumblr was the place to be. Whether you were looking for community, lovelorn quotes, aesthetically pleasing images, memes or gifs of your favourite stars — you could find everything on Tumblr. And the all-encompassing nature of the platform was part of its allure. 

There was no need for users to have different profiles on a multitude of social networks. After all, when Tumblr was in its heyday (around 2012 to 2015), Instagram was in its infancy and Twitter was still building momentum.

But, when the social media platform decided to ban mature content on its platform, there was a sudden and dramatic decrease in usage. As thousands of blogs featured this type of content, it led to them all being shut down. 

Many users opposed this shift in policy and it was believed to contradict the "body positive space that was instrumental in building community and exploring identities".

What's more, many believe Tumblr's reluctance to include video content on the platform is another reason for the mass migration away from the platform. As this is currently one of the most sought after content types on social media, not accommodating this gap in the market was a major misstep for the brand. 

Elaborating on this, former Tumblr user Haley Peterson for Mashable says, "I think part of [what made Tumblr die] was the growing vanity around social platforms, where your image and content provides a reward for sharing yourself or an edited version of yourself."

As visual as Tumblr is, the above definitely rings true. Now, social media is a visual place where users go to show the best parts of their lives and get likes and comments to validate that. But Tumblr was a better place for text posts and curated content. 

Despite this, Tumblr is experiencing an unexpected resurgence.

The Tumblr revival

As Y2K (the year 2000) is fashionable right now, we have seen the comeback of many early noughties and 2010's trends. Along with the return of mini-skirts and 'emo' or indie culture, Millennials and Gen Zs have also dug up Tumblr and started using it again. Talk about a comeback story

But don't just take our word for it — let the stats do the talking
  • The number of Tumblr users in 2019 was 480.1 million registered blogs; by February 2019, this number spiked to 518.6 million.
  • Millennials make up 69% of Tumblr users.
  • 1 644 Tumblr posts are made every second.
  • Tumblr has 16.74 million mobile monthly users in the US.
Thanks to TikTok, we've seen an increase of alternative 'indie' or grunge culture (hello e-girls and boys), which was prominent back in the Tumblr days. Now, younger Gen Zs are reviving this Tumblr aesthetic and making it cool again.

*Image sourced from Reddit.

Possible reasoning behind this trend is that, as a society, we are experiencing mass nostalgia. During the pandemic years, we've all found ourselves yearning for simpler times. Nowadays, users are spread so thinly amongst all the different social media platforms that they often are spoilt for choice.

Krystine Batcho, a professor of psychology, wrote for Vox and said, "What people are craving is the period when they had fewer worries, more innocent fun and greater emotional support during difficult times." 

Were you an avid Tumblr user? Would you consider using it again? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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If you want to learn more about the latest happenings on the social scene, then be sure to read What's up with the Instagram 'photo dump' trend? 
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy.