I joined Tumblr early on, and got the username "nate" in 2008. Since then I've been propositioned and even threatened by folks who wanted my username handed to them.
So maybe I'm one of the few who aren't too sad about Tumblr losing some popularity. Then again, I was never more than an infrequent visitor/poster.
But the lifecycle pattern of sites that provide free content posting services to the general public keeps repeating itself:
1) service opens, is exciting/different in some way, reaches new audiences
2) popularity grows, audience widens
3) business scrambles to make advertising keep up with growing costs
4) sacrifices made to platform that hurt users/devs and help corporate advertisers
5) site closes
Many see services like facebook/twitter as permanent, but I just see them as another friendster/myspace.
@n Livejournal is an interesting point for comparison, because it was funded primarily by paid accounts instead of by advertising. It basically followed this same cycle anyway.
@mattskala that's interesting, I hadn't followed what happened with Livejournal. I suppose too many free options makes paid accounts non-viable.
@n I don't think that was what killed Livejournal. They sold the company to a Russian media conglomerate that was more interested in changing the system than in keeping the existing system working. That alienated the existing paid users and did not attract new ones. I think there was also an aspect of natural life cycle to it - Livejournal-type things may have lost their appeal. Not "We can get this for free elsewhere" but "We don't actually want this anymore."
@mattskala ah! Interesting background. Thanks, I had no idea.
@pettter indeed. I'll breathe a sigh of relief when that monolith finally expires.
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