By: Rebecca Henzig

History of Tumblr

In 2007, Tumblr was started by David Karp in New York City. David created a website that he thought would become extremely popular by people all around the country and world. He used his HTML coding skills and his knowledge of “tumblelogs” (short form blogs) to create a social media network from scratch. Tumblr was created because David wanted a website for writing short blog posts. All other blogging websites at the time (like WordPress or Blogger) were for people who wrote long posts. Since there were no other websites that fitted his needs, he decided to create one himself.

This is what HTML code looks like:

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Progression of Tumblr

When Tumblr first started, it was a very basic, ad-free website that is nothing like what it is now. There was no photo, video, or quote support, it was only for writing short blogs. Only 2 people, David Karp and Marco Arment, worked for the new company. People could share things with friends easily, though. Later, Tumblr added video, audio, quote, and even chat support for users. They also introduced background themes that users could use to customize their page. After that, Tumblr needed money to upgrade its servers, so they created paid themes. Paid themes were backgrounds that cost money to put on your Tumblr page. They became very popular. Then, in 2009, Tumblr bought an already existing app for iPhone and made it the official Tumblr app. Now, iPhone users could post to their Tumblr page from anywhere. Apps for Android and BlackBerry phones were introduced in 2010, and a Windows Phone app was created in 2012.

Tumblr Now

Now, Tumblr is a website that allows users to create their own creative blog and share it with others. They added privacy settings that allow users to not share their Tumblr page with anyone, with a few people, or the whole world. Hashtag support was added so users could categorize posts. Today, Tumblr is owned by Yahoo, but David Karp is still the CEO of Tumblr. Its offices are in New York City and and 200 people work for the company. There are now ads on Tumblr, but they are ones that allow other companies to create engaging advertisements instead of basic ones. Tumblr is better now because people can customize their page, post from anywhere, categorize their posts, see suggested blogs that fit their interests, share with friends, and post videos, photos, and chat with other users. Tumblr allows users to create their own blog, however they want.

Tumblr's offices are located in this building:

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Tumblr's Impact on Society

Tumblr was created so that people could have a popular short form blog that was easy to use. Now, more people use short Tumblr blogs instead of long blogs on other websites. People can connect with others that share their interests, and they can read what their friends have to say. Tumblr is a blog for everyone, so many musicians have connected with other musicians, photographers have posted their photos, chefs can share recipes, and any user can find a way to use Tumblr in a way that they like. Tumblr’s CEO, David Karp, is very rich, but he is not selfish. He lives in an apartment and does not own overly fancy clothes or cars. He most likely donates some money to charities and uses it to improve Tumblr for users all around the world. This is important to him because he created Tumblr for everyday users. Without Tumblr, people could not share ideas with people with similar interests or their friends.

Tumblr's Most Influential Person: David Karp

David Karp is most influential to Tumblr’s success. He learned to code and program using HTML code at age 11. When he was fourteen, he got an internship job at Frederator Studios, which is an animation company. When he was 17, he helped develop UrbanBaby, which allows parents in New York City to connect with other parents to share parenting tips. Then David started a software consultancy company called Davidville. David wanted to create a company blog, but he didn’t like the blogging websites that were available. So, he renamed Davidville to Tumblr. Inc, and created his own short form blog site. Even though he never went to college, his coding skills allowed him to create a great website. He continues to work to make Tumblr better.

Fun Facts about Tumblr:

  • Tumblr receives over 17 billion page views per month.
  • There are 44.6 billion (and counting) blog posts on Tumblr.
  • Over 75,000 users signed up within 2 weeks of the release of Tumblr.
  • Tumblr has 300 million users.