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Tumblr Lost about 30% of Their Web Traffic since December 17th

Tumblr has always been the odd one out of the popular group of representative social outlets that appeared to take a share of the pie after the rise of Facebook in 2009. David Kapp created the site in 2007, but it wasn’t until 2010 when it really took off. The blogging site focused on images, and it appealed to every single demographic on the web, even fans of adult content.

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Under Dave’s watch, the site experienced a few bumps, but it remained a favorite outlet for outcasts and people who wanted to share their weirdness with like-minded individuals. The site was elevated to safe space for many people akin to identity politics, with some famous activists being able to find their voices on the website.

The Road to a Hard Fall from Grace

David Kapp decided one good day that the site was getting too big for his taste and decided to take’s Yahoo’s offer and sell the blogging site for a juicy offer of 1.1 million dollars. Not bad, when you consider the site had an established platform with 550 million users worldwide using the main website and the app every single day

After the sale, Tumblr was still receiving some massive backlash for not being able to control the content shared on their site other than placing tags on it, something that placed the full responsibility of the type of material shared on Tumblr on the user’s end. After a wake of child pornography made the rounds in the site untagged, the new board of directors made the call to remove all form of adult content from the site.

The change was announced with months in advance, but adult content bloggers started to experience random flagging of their content and complete shutdown of their blogs without warning. After the ban was applied last December, a lot of users that browsed the site to get their fix of NSFW content simply left.

The Lost Safe Heaven

The site proved easy access to adult content while keeping servers of most places unaware of the content shared on the platform. Add on top of this the fact that your average Tumblr user didn’t follow blogs with explicit names, and you had the perfect safe space for people who watched this type of content in places they shouldn’t, such as work or libraries.

After making good on their word and enforcing the ban, many Tumblr users also made good on theirs: the announcement of the band received 6 million reblogs with nearly 89% of the people threatening to leave. By March of 2019, it seems they really did it: Tumblr has currently almost 30% less traffic than it had in the first half of December.

If we go by the numbers this is currently Tumblr’s situation: their global traffic in the first half of December peaked at 521 million users a day. To this day that number has dropped to 370 million according to an independent study handled by a web analytics firm called “Similar Web” The numbers started to fall on the second half of December, with 437 million visits a day by the end of the month. Tumblr previously had a peak point of 642 million, the highest number they reached in July of2018.

The Aftermath

Most fans stated their outrage, not by the ban itself, but the way it was handled by the company. Current Tumblr’s CEO Jeff D’Onofrio put out a statement essentially telling users to find other places on the web to get this type of content. The written announcement also had heavy traces of kink-shaming language.

For the time being it doesn’t seem like Tumblr is going to backtrack on their stance, users are still leaving in droves since they seem disenchanted with the rise of political blogs leaning to the far-right movements while Adult content is barred from it. The company to this day hasn’t addressed the issue in a way that shows even a hint of care for the situation.


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