Tumblr launches its semi-private Communities in open beta

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

Tumblr 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 work through the list as quickly as possible to open the experience to more people.

The testing 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 users told it they wanted better ways to connect with other people who share similar interests. With this new feature, users would no longer have to search for blogs that focus on a certain topic to find content they are interested in and could instead join a community.

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

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