After a year of rocky news, here’s some good stuff: Tumblr – everyone’s favorite social media step-cousin and patron saint of Instagram screenshots – is releasing their own live streaming feature courtesy of Livebox.
According to PCMag, mobile users will be able to use the Tumblr Live feature very soon, while desktop users will have to wait for “an unspecified” amount of time before having access to live streaming.
Tumblr Live uses Livebox, a video streaming platform with a strong pedigree to back its ambitions. Livebox comes complete with all of the tools one might expect in a live streaming service, including AI moderation to help keep streams under control.
Tumblr will also allow streamers to appoint trustworthy community members as moderators during live streams.
In terms of interacting with streamers, viewers will be able to “tip” using a virtual currency (in this case, “Diamonds”) along with all of the usual interaction options via chat.
Allegedly, this pivot to a new, topical feature represents a certain degree of self-awareness for a social media platform that, more often than not, inspires the question, “Wait, that’s still a thing?” Indeed, after losing a large percentage of its user base in 2018 (in direct response to Tumblr banning pornography), Tumblr has been working tirelessly to incentivize people to come back to the site.
It couldn’t come at a better time, with live streaming via apps like TikTok and Instagram – to say nothing of Twitch – creating what some might view as a relatively bloated or saturated marketplace, even with the current concerns about TikTok and its potential for being banned looming on the horizon. For the remaining population of avid Tumblr users, Tumblr Live offers a way to stay relevant, rekindle followings, or even compete in the current market.
It should be noted that not all accounts will be able to use Tumblr Live. Main, or “primary”, accounts will have access to the live streaming section of the dashboard, but secondary accounts will not. This most likely represents an effort to keep things like spam accounts and the aforementioned saturation from creeping in to kill a relatively new endeavor.
PCMag also notes that users will not be allowed to play anything other than royalty-free music in the background during streams, putting Tumblr Live on an even playing field with like-minded streaming services.