With Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter leading the social media platforms, Social networking sites like Tumblr survive using their uniqueness.

Tumblr, one of the largest microblogging, Image-board platforms, which garners over 400 million views allows its users to post photos, videos, and short text blogs. 

It also allows you to manage your blog from a user-friendly dashboard and follow other blogs.

Micro-blogging took off when conventional blogging was just getting into the seasoned stage for users to express themselves.

The idea of blogging and instant messaging clubbed together became an instant hit with the soaring popularity of the likes of Twitter, 4Chan, and of-course Tumblr.

Why Was NSFW Adult content banned on Tumblr?

Earlier Tumblr was owned by Yahoo, but in 2017, it was sold to Verizon Media. Which later started implementing stricter policies on Tumblr.

It all started with an incident involving under-age NSFW content, which led to the Tumblr app being removed from the Apple iOS AppStore.

Following a few days later, Tumblr announced the ban on adult content in their blog announcement.

The Tumblr NSFW content fans and communities have reacted with deep regret, and a year later, they still struggle to rebuild the communities affected/removed due to the enforcement of the new rule and are looking for its alternatives.

10 Best Tumblr Alternatives 

1. Reddit 

The front-page of the Internet, as everyone calls it. Reddit started with a simple link submission forum where users submitted third-party links with a custom title and the ability to comment, discuss the thread with other members.

What I liked

  • User Aggregated Content
    What is popping on the Internet right this minute? Head over to the homepage and sort by all. Content is visible based on the engagement, up-votes on a post.
  • User-created communities
    Even if a single user feels passionate about something, they can create a subreddit on it, and others can join it. Subreddit moderators and administrators can regulate entry to view, post creation, and other aspects of the subreddit.

What I did not like 

  • Alleged biased moderation
    There have been accusations on numerous occasions of global moderators being bias and censoring some of the user-submitted content.

Visit Reddit


2. 4chan

An anonymous posting based image-board website which started focusing primarily on Animes and the discussions around it.

The microblogging website later mushroomed into 72 topics, each having its own board. A board is a discussion thread on specific issues. New boards keep on adding from time to time on an experimental basis.

Users don’t need to register or create an account on the platform since posting is anonymous. However, if users wish to keep an identity tagged to their post and prevent impersonations, they can use trip code, which provides registration of sorts, or as FAQ section calls it “pseudo-registration.”

What I liked 

  • Anonymous posting
    Users don’t need to reveal any part of their identity when engaging in a conversation thread on the website. The users have the freedom to be completely anonymous while creating a thread, adding a comment and other activities that are within the bounds of the site’s rule-book.
  • Simple and easy to use
    Head over to a board, create a new thread by filling up 4-5 boxes along with captcha verification, and your thread will be created instantly. Or, if you would like to leave a reply to a thread, then click on the reply button and fill a short form with your reply.

Filling captcha can be infuriating for religious users of 4chan. There is a 4chan pass available for users to buy for supporting the website. It cost $20 and provides limited privilege like bypassing typing a captcha, reduced post cooldown timers, and the ability to bypass country blocks(with IP range).

What I did not like 

  • Outdated design
    The website interface still feels like being stuck in the early 2000s while their competitors are working on enhancing their user interface quite often.

Visit 4Chan


3. Medium.com

Medium.com was started by Evan Williams, the co-founder of Twitter and Blogspot. The online publishing platform aims to bring amateur and professionals on the same platform to whoever wishes to echo their voices and ideas.

The idea behind Medium is to keep it on the simpler side. Creating and publishing content via their editor is effortless, thanks to their clutter-free minimal editor.

What I liked

  • Shared revenue for publishers
    Writers earn a small amount of money every-time a paid member user reads their article. The authors can join the Medium Partner Program to enroll under the monetization program by default. Medium has a membership program that currently costs $50 annually or $5/month, granting certain privileges like access to an exclusive podcast, contents, offline leading, journals from reputed writers, authors on the platform.
  • Reader activity-based news feed
    Just like Tumblr, the newsfeed of the user gets tailored according to the reading activity/history of the content read, clapped, engaged by the reader. It is apart from the subscribed topics by the reader.

What I did not like 

  • Start from scratch for amateurs
    The tailored newsfeed has its downside as well. Users starting on the platform are often on the receiving end of Medium’s often controversial content visibility system, which sometimes results in a lack of visibility to new and aspiring authors on the platform.

Visit Medium


4. Newgrounds

The oldest alternative to Tumblr and it has been around almost a decade before the micro-blogging site took-off. It started by the then-teenager founder Tom Fulp in the guise of a fanzine(a magazine by fans) to 100 odd subscribers, under the name New Ground Remix.

What I liked 

  • Interactive content to get hooked up
    HTML 5/Flash player games enthusiasts can head over to user submitted games under the Game tab and play, rate the games available there. Other tabs like Audio showcases music recommendations, user submissions, etc. which would be a haven for the audiophile in me. There is also a dedicated section for artists to showcase their art and earn feedback for the same. Users can follow other users to get their updates in their feed. There is no restriction on NSFW content like Tumblr, as filters like are present, which can be applied with a click of a button.
  • Exclusive forum
    Apart from the user submissions and the comment system for discussions amongst the users, there is a traditional-looking forum titled community with sections like How-Tos, Animation, game development, programming, etc.

What I did not like 

  • Mobile App is a letdown
    The mobile version of the website is a relief since the mobile app is on the thinner side of the spectrum.

Visit Newgrounds


5. Pinterest

Pinterest is a visually driven social media-website that means that you need to post an image, video or GIF with the link to pin it(post) to the website.

When you share something on Pinterest, it is posted on the site as a pin as a social bookmark. Sharing someone else’s pin is known as repin. The website also provides an option to create a group of pins, called boards to collect pins related to a topic in a place, just like a real-life board with pins.

What I liked 

  • A Picture is Worth a Thousand words
    The adage does stand true in our modern era of technology. Our attention span is lower than a goldfish. Images and videos are easy to interpret in a shorter period, breaking down complex titles, descriptions to images, videos, or GIFs.
  • Privacy
    In the age where privacy concerns are at an all-time high, Pinterest has provided with options like the ability to hide user profile from search engines, activity monitoring based advertisements, etc.

What I did not like 

  • Videos and GIFs cannot be downloaded
    Not a downside, but if I had to nitpick, this would be the thing. Images can be downloaded, then why not videos, GIFS, one might wonder. There are third party Pinterest video downloaders available.

Visit Pinterest


6. Ello

Artists, creators of Tumblr can give Ello a try. The creators’ network started as a Facebook styled community, which later transformed into more like a Pinterest style image-centric social media website for creators. 

What I liked 

  • Sell your artwork
    Embed an image with a link in the post and click on the sell button. When you click on the sell button, a popup for adding your product URL appears on the screen. Fill that with the relevant link, and you are good to go.
  • Freedom to post
    All kinds of digital art-form are allowed to be posted. Visibility of NSFW and adult content can be turned on from the settings.

What I did not like 

  • No dark mode
    People who surf for long hours often opt for dark themes on the apps, websites they frequent. There is no dark mode on Ello.

Visit ello


7. Pillowfort

Pillowfort gives a similar look-wise feel of Tumblr. It is in beta-phase and charges a small fee($5) for creating an account. There is an option for trial through a demo-mode for users to peek inside the discrete social media forum.

What I liked 

  • Feed like Tumblr
    Home feed on the homepage has a post from all communities, based on hearts received and engagement.
  • Simple form of communities
    Users can create communities under any name as long as they comply with the website’s rules. Any member can join the community and get their post in the home feed or alternatively tune into the community and browser the post via the vertical feed.  NSFW, Adult content is allowed but often removed by the global moderators, as I have observed.

What I did not like 

  • Community feels abandoned
    Although we get it that it is in beta mode, the community is sporadically active at best.

Visit Pillowfort


8. DeviantArt

DeviantArt is an online community that features digital art, photography, videography, among other forms of art. It has communities feed similar to Tumblr. The feed can be sorted by different categories. Posts are called deviations.

What I liked

  • Directly Sell your Art commissions
    Any kind of content can be sold by an artist on DeviantArt. It can be done through points by purchasing a commission via the commission widget. Alternatively, an artist can sell their art in the shop section for real money.
  • Tasteful art in NFSW section
    The NSFW content on DevianArt is a form of tasteful art, created by artists from around the world.

What I did not like 

There are none that even if I had to nitpick from the haven for artists.

Visit DeviantArt


9. Mastodon

Mastodon is an open-source alternative to Tumblr. The inter-connected decentralized social network has micro-blogging like Twitter, a Reddit like community space. After creating an account Qoto, you have to use the login credentials(especially the Qoto id) for joining different communities. Qoto has a Twitter-like interface itself.

What I liked

  • Communities managed and hosted independently
    The creators, admins of a community are essentially the owners of their community. They are hosted on their own server(or they can use Mastodon hosting), and it is interconnected by a federal social network. All kinds of content is allowed, just like Tumblr used to have before the ban.
  • Free to Use
    The benefit of being an open-source network, users do not have to spend a dime for being part of any community or streams happening live. Minimal server costs are involved, which are borne by the patrons, donors.

What I did not like 

  • Wider learning curve
    A normal Internet user might find it difficult to understand it on the go. There is a wide learning curve involved in understanding the platform. It would probably take a few days to get a grasp on the functionality.

Visit Mastadon


10. Twitter

Twitter is a micro-blogging and social media website with a similar vertical home news feed like Tumblr. Users who like a post can reshare it using a retweet feature. The home-feed has posts from the other user, handles followed by you, and tweets from around the world can be followed by searching hashtags. Users can write a tweet (post) with a character limit of 280(except for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese). 

What I liked 

  • Organic post in the feed.
    There is no customization, tailoring of home-feed tweets from users followed by you. All tweets from the account handle followed by the user are visible in the feed. Tweets discovered through hashtag has a certain algorithm for visibility in place.
  • Fewer restrictions on content
    Any kind of content is allowed on the microblogging website while complying with the local laws of the countries they are operating. In countries like Saudi Arabia, Twitter is regulated for various reasons, including the widespread NSFW content on the website.

What I did not like 

  • Lack of tailored content
    Users often have to search through a wide variety of content to scout the content of their liking, unlike Tumblr, Pinterest.

Visit Twitter


So these were some of the best alternatives to Tumblr, in addition to these, you can also use WordPress or Google’s blogger if you are looking to start a blog.

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