New York – Tumblr announced on Tumblr staff blog the introduction of an instant messaging feature available for its mobile app and website. Opposite to the existing messaging service “fan mail,” this new feature will allow users to talk to each other in real time.
The new service was launched on Tuesday for only 1,500 accounts. The few lucky ones will know the new feature is available in their accounts by a smiley face chat icon on their screens. Then, they could invite others by starting a chat. This way all Tumblr users will join the service progressively. Yahoo expects all users to be able to enjoy the new service by December.
Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp explained that because the type of social media Tumblr is and the kind of people who uses it, more the creative type, this is not a toll made as a method of communications for families. It is more a space where people who don’t know each other but share the same interest can connect.
“It’s such an insanely witty, creative, and fun community, I’m really excited to see more and more screenshots of these Tumblr messages starting to show up. I think there will be a whole other dimension to the humor and the intellect, the wit that’s going on Tumblr,” Karp said.
This new application will appear in the lower right corner of the screen, without covering the timeline. At the moment, it only supports conversations between 2 users. It doesn’t have emojis or file sharing yet, but the microblogging service plans to add more features to the service in the near future.
The social network has been online for almost 9 years and according to several website metrics it has been losing some web traffic. As a way to stop this, it has been introducing some new services in the past year. To name a few, they have a new service that allows users to place images, videos, subheads and horizontal lines as a way to make long-form writing easier. In March, Tumblr also introduced Buy, Pledge, and Get Involved buttons in its mobile apps. Additionally, they launched The Tumblr TV auto-slideshow feature which plays random GIFs from movie, TV and theater clips.