Are Tumblr’s transparency issues just poor organization, or a symptom of something more troublesome?
While yesterday’s tag search fiasco could be simply an issue of a glitch quickly fixed, it seems that Tumblr could have benefited from a quick update to its staff or support blogs to inform users about what was happening.
Instead, the lack of transparency points to a larger elephant in the room: Tumblr’s sudden stagnation in the face of tremendous growth.
In the last year, Tumblr quadrupled its userbase from 20 million blogs in late 2011 to 103 million as of this week. With over 70 million posts and reblogs a day, the growth of Tumblr is nothing short of staggering. After its latest round of venture capital, Tumblr is valued at somewhere around $1 billion.
Instead of expanding its functionality and communicating more with its userbase, however, Tumblr seems to have grown even more reticent and has alarmingly halted many of its services.
In addition to last week’s much talked-about closure of Storyboard, Tumblr’s award-winning editorial branch, Betabeat noted that Tumblr’s leadership has been floundering recently, characterized by a revolving door of executives around CEO David Karp. In addition to the Storyboard layoffs, Tumblr has seen a long line of departmental heads come and go—most recently the executive vice president and vice president of engineering.
And it’s not only Storyboard that’s fallen abruptly silent: Gifwich, Tumblr’s in-house GIF blog, abruptly stopped updating two weeks ago. Reblorg, Tumblr’s official hub for spotlighting user’s original works, hasn’t been updated in five months. Yet no official announcement about either of these projects has come from Tumblr. [READ MORE]