Tumblr has reportedly hit 400 million users a day, and its success may be due to the very thing that Facebook tries so hard to eliminate - creativity within the confines of the platform. Tumblr promotes individuality whereas Facebook wants us all to be the same.
Facebook is like going to work in an office, where everyone has his or her own little indistinct cubicle. Sure we are allowed to put our own photos up, just as long as they aren’t too risqué - we don’t want to upset anyone who may be casually passing by now do we?
Music and groups have now been pulled into check too. It must have been deemed inappropriate to give too much power to any mass of people. Or before you know it, Betty White will be on SNL, and Rage Against The Machine will have a Christmas number 1.
There is a set way to do things at Facebook, and up until this point, everyone has dutifully complied.
A STROLL IN THE PARK
Then there is Tumblr. It’s like taking a lunch break from Facebook’s faceless demeanor and going for a stroll through Venice Beach. There are colors and variety galore. Pages have a certain unity but they all look different. Hmmm remember that site, you know the one, where you could copy and paste your own code and customize it to your own specifications. What was it called again? Yes that was it, Myspace.
Ever since the heady days of Myspace, musicians have looked to social networks as a key to building success. With the integration of Soundcloud and an ability to collect followers, Tumblr is certainly becoming a friendlier environment for musicians. In fact, can I be the first to mutter the phrase “We’re really big on Tumblr”?
THE END OF THE ROAD
Perhaps social networks have become far too narcissistic for this to happen again. The majority of people are not using these platforms to discover new acts like they did in the early days of Myspace - they are using it to tell the everyone else about themselves.
Bands telling the world about their gigs, parents telling the world about their kids, hypochondriacs telling the world about their ailments, Christians telling the world about their God, Atheists telling the world about the lack of God.
When every one shouts so loud, no one ends up being heard.
THE SEAS OF CHANGE
With its lack of censorship and customizable options, Tumblr could certainly become a dominant force in the near future. However, it seems like social networking trends could play out like our political preferences. Ebbing and flowing from conservative to democratic, shifting as the times change and our tastes broaden and recoil.
There is after all, a distinct unity in our social behavior.