There are two stories about what Tumblr was like in 2019, its first year after officially prohibiting sex acts, nudity, and “female-presenting nipples.”

The first is that it barely survived. From 2018 to 2019, the average number of unique monthly visitors to Tumblr’s website decreased by 21.2 percent, according to data compiled by the analytics service SimilarWeb. The total volume of visits to the site is in decline, and the visits per unique visitor is in decline, and the amount of time that visitors spend on the site is also in decline. From 2018 to 2019, the average site visit dropped by nearly a minute, and the average number of pages per visit dropped by more than one and a half. Even more strikingly, the average monthly volume of traffic to the Tumblr login page by US visitors dropped 49 percent, and the average number of daily active users on Tumblr’s Android app dropped 35 percent, making it unlikely that the dip in site traffic could be explained by users migrating to mobile.

The numbers are stark, but not surprising. Up until 2016, when Yahoo still owned Tumblr, but was not yet itself owned by Verizon, or merged with AOL, it had an in-house research team tasked with understanding the mechanics and sociology of the various websites it owned. The lab published one of its last studies postmortem, in January 2017, mapping the place of porn in communities on Flickr and Tumblr.

While porn creators belonged to tightly connected subgroups, they were linked to the rest of Tumblr’s network “with a very high number of ties,” and their productions “spread widely across the whole social graph.” In other words, they weren’t quarantined off in some illicit corner of the site—they were woven into its basic fabric: The average Tumblr …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Best of

      

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