Tumblr versus WordPress

I often get the question: “what’s the difference between Tumblr and WordPress?”

Tumblr (short for Tumblog) is much like WordPress: also a web-based blogging platform, also free. The main difference is that people who tend to keep WordPress blogs write more, whereas Tumblrs are better suited to multi-media blogs: photos and video.

One of my favorite Tumblrs: The Laughing Squid


One of my favorite applications of Tumblr is its connection to Instagram. Instagram is a great iPhone app that combines photography and a social network. You download the app, and then take a photo with it. It has various filters for your photo that give it cool special effects and make it look old, etc…  You then share your photo with the people that follow you on Instagram, and you can see the photos of people that you follow, all straight from your iPhone.

You can connect your Tumblr (and Twitter and Facebook, too) directly to your Instagram account, so that every time you post a new photo, it gets posted as a new blog post on your Tumblr.

My friend Geoff and I have often had the conversation about how Twitter is killing the blogosphere. It’s so easy to write a tweet–short, sweet, speedy–whereas sitting down to write blog posts 5 times a week is a huge investment of time. And we have short attention spans.

I don’t know if Twitter is really killing the blogosphere–it seems to be alive and well to me, but this recent article on SMedio might leave you questioning that.

Tumblr recently overtook WordPress in terms of numbers of accounts, despite the fact that Tumblr has not been around for as long as WordPress.

From the article:

Don’t look now, but Tumblr is poised to emerge as the next great Internet sensation, right behind Twitter. Tumblr has only been around since 2007, but now hosts over 20 million micro blogs, and boasts 9.2 million daily page views. There’s more. Tumblr’s popularity has been accelerating at breakneck speed, and all signs point to continued growth. Why has Tumblr become so popular, so fast? It may have something to do with our short attention spans and our embracing of short texts and tweets as our primary means of social communication. In addition, Tumblr offers a fun and easy platform to establish an online presence that’s an appealing blog, Twitter-like, social networking hybrid. It’s blogging, but without the commitment. Tumblr is a diverse social community that relies on short bursts of text, photos and video to communicate with the world. It’s much more visual than your average blog. And it’s catching on big time.

What do you think? I’d love to hear from both sides.
h/t: @thereseljoseph

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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

Comments 4

  1. Hi Rebecca! I think Tumblr and Twitter are very complimentary for each other. They serve such different but necessary functions for me as an artist that I could never use one to the exclusion of the other. Can’t we just all be friends? 🙂

    Tumblr is where I find art inspiration primarily. Every once in a while I’ll include a drawing or painting of my own, but mainly I use it to stay connected and keep my creativity flowing. When I need a break from the studio but don’t want to completely get out of my creative groove, I head over to Tumblr for a few minutes.

    Twitter is where I connect with other artists. I also get a ton of art inspiration there, but I can also ask any questions or just talk and relax with other artists and creatives. Twitter is a good place to get feedback from art from people you feel like you’ve gotten to know and whose opinions you respect.

    Twitter, Flickr, and my Facebook art page are the places that I debut my art as soon as a piece is finished.

    If I were a writer, WordPress would probably be indispensable. But being more of a visual person, Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook fit me well. So I guess it depends on what you use it for. Cheers!

  2. I have found in general that WordPress tends to be home to long form serious written blogs. (With the exception of I can haz cheeseburger and stuff white people like)

    Tumblr has found a home for a lot of humorous and sarcastic blogs. Clients From Hell, Shit Photojournalists Like, Devious Behaviour. They are short witty and sarcastic and make me laugh.

    I think Tumblr and Twitter don’t have much in common, they are both very popular right now, but that is just my 2cents.

  3. In some ways, Tumblr is a more visual Twitter. It’s a major source for great design, art, inspiration, photos. A few of my friends link up their instagram with Tumblr and document their outings instantaneously. (Gone are the days of uploading all your photos from 4th of July on the 5th of July on Facebook–it’s happening right now).

    I don’t know that WordPress is necessarily “trumped” by Tumblr. Time will tell, I suppose. I still enjoy “long-form” blogging and it serves a great purpose. And I don’t know that traditional blogging works that well on Tumblr. I often skim longer text-only passages when I read my Tumblr dash. But I have no problem reading extended passages through Google Reader (which are often from Blogger or WordPress).

    Essentially, I see value in all the social media–they just serve a different function.

  4. Although I’ve had a Tumblr account for over a year, I only started using it more often very recently.

    I like the ease of Tumblr, and it’s visual aspect. I continue to post quick snippets there, and my longer blog posts to my own site.

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