Let's face it: Sex sells. And it looks like Tumblr is banking on that fact as it looks to regain its lost audience.
In 2018, a year after the social media platform was acquired by Verizon, it shocked users when explicit images and videos were banned. TechCrunch reported that traffic on Tumblr dropped about 30 percent once the ban went into effect. Still, the site reports 135 million monthly active users.
In a newly-released set of community guidelines, it looks like that caveat on nudity is being rolled back — sort of. The company announced in September that it added "Community Labels" which allow users to specially curate their experiences. Now, Tumblr is expanding that idea to include "a broader range of expression, creativity, and art on Tumblr, including content depicting the human form (yes, that includes the naked human form)."
The news comes as the world of social media becomes as competitive as it has ever been, particularly with Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter and the potential changes that could blow up the digital landscape. Tech website PiunikaWeb says the bird app, along with several other platforms, including NewGrounds, Pillowfort, and Sharesome had become an outlet for adult performers and others looking to share explicit content. Still, in a statement, Tumblr said while it will allow nudity on its site, "visual depictions of sexually explicit acts remain off-limits."
"No modern internet service in 2022 can have the rules that Tumblr did in 2007. I am personally extremely libertarian in terms of what consenting adults should be able to share, and I agree with 'go nuts, show nuts' in principle, but the casually porn-friendly era of the early internet is currently impossible," CEO Matt Mullenweg said in a statement.