In a comment on Joe’s post, David says Joe has the story wrong (and “dumb”) and is missing the real story on Tumblr’s growth and progress. (Joe had said that Tumblr was focusing too much on self-referential memes like its current “Sharks vs. Cats” gag, and not enough on features that could support a large, mainstream audience.)
Specifically addressing two of Joe’s points, David says that requests for a Tumblr commenting system have “dropped off nearly completely” since rolling out its newish “likes” and “answers” features, and that Sharks vs. Cats has been the “single largest referrer for new registrations for the last 24 hours.”
He also clarifies: “Sharks are totally badass, but cats are REALLY cute.”
As we noted yesterday, Tumblr president John Maloney also wrote to let us know that he’s “speechless” about this “lame” piece — and backs his argument up with some growth stats.
Tumblr has “crossed 50m visitors last month, hitting 800k posts a day and blowing the doors off.” And as for membership growth, our other concern, Maloney says: “membership is exploding (beyond expectations) in concert with all the other reportable numbers. There’s nothing but positives here, with big plans and a strategic approach. Our investors are thrilled.”
Here’s David’s comment in its entirety. The italics are quotes from Joe’s piece; the plain text is David Karp.
“From a user’s perspective, it’s been small design tweaks now and then.”
We’re pushing about 2 new features each week, most of which we publicize here: http://staff.tumblr.com/tagged/features
“…why it hasn’t captured the public’s attention the same way fellow USV-funded microblogging site Twitter has.”
Ignoring the fact that this is an asinine comparison, we’re more than a year younger than Twitter and have been following a similar adoption curve. http://staff.tumblr.com/post/156436390/taking-over-the-world
“Meanwhile, the company hasn’t made it any easier for a beginner to add basic features to their Tumblr sites, like a commenting system or custom domain names.”
Requests for commenting has dropped off nearly completely since we rolled out Likes and Answers, and Tumblr posts see (on average) 4x more interactions than WordPress.com posts.
We’ve supported custom domains for 2 years (http://www.tumblr.com/docs/custom_domains) and about 15% of our publishers are using them. GoDaddy and the like haven’t been able to deliver an acceptable user experience.
We’ve managed to hone our registration and welcome process to 85% retention. You can read a neat write-up on it here: http://www.zeusjones.com/blog/2009/conversational-ux-design/
“A non-Tumblr user joining the site would have no idea what the fascination with cats and sharks is all about.”
I certainly understand your confusion. To clarify: Sharks are totally badass, but cats are REALLY cute.
And funny thing about Sharks vs. Cats, a side project developed in a couple days by our new Editorial Director: It’s been the single largest referrer for new registrations for the last 24 hours.
Sorry, Joe. This piece is dumb, and it would have taken a five minute phone call to get right.
Photo: Bre Pettis
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