Tumblr launches its semi-private Communities in open beta

Tumblr, the blogging site acquired twice, is launching its “Communities” feature in open beta, the Tumblr Labs division has announced. The feature offers a dedicated space for users to connect with others on different topics, outside of Tumblr’s main dashboard. The open beta comes six months after Communities launched in closed beta and represents a shift in focus for the social platform under its new parent company Automattic, the makers of WordPress.com.

Tumblr’s Communities are “semi-private” spaces that have their own moderators, rules, and privacy settings. The feature is somewhat similar to subreddits on Reddit and Communities on X (formerly Twitter), both of which are now training grounds for AI.

Users can now request to create a community to be added to a waitlist. Tumblr Labs says there are currently more than 5,800 communities on the waitlist, and that it will be working through the list as quickly as it can to open up the experience to more people. 

The test feature adds a social networking aspect to Tumblr that takes the company beyond its core concept of blogging and publishing, allowing it to compete with platforms like X and Reddit. 

Tumblr began testing Communities after it heard from users that they wanted better ways to connect with other people who share similar interests. With this new feature, users would no longer have to search to find blogs that focus on a given topic to find content they’re interested in, and could instead join a community.

Tumblr notes that Communities can be used for many different purposes. For instance, Communities could be used as a space for fans of a specific TV show, artist, or book series to come together. Communities could also be used to create a dedicated space for your school, book club, friend group, and more. 

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