Though Tumblr has been mostly about posting, curating, and creating content to share with followers, the site is heading in a new direction, this time with a new chat feature allowing bloggers to message each other in real time.
Up until today, the only way Tumblr users could communicate was either by reblogging a post and adding their own comments, or alternatively sending another user a question, or by sending Fan Mail. It has always been awkward, clunky, and difficult to keep track of. Now however, that’s all about to change.
For a while it seems users have been asking for an Instant Messanging feature for some time, and according to Tumblr support, they’ve listened and it’s on its way allowing for things like threaded conversations.
On the dashboard users will find a new “smiley balloon icon” which, once clicked, will allow users to send direct messages to anyone. The recipient of the messages will then get the messaging feature and whatever message was sent.
It seems Tumblr are rolling out the messaging service slowly, so if you don’t quite see the icon yet, never fear, it’s on its way. It seems this replaces the Fan Mail feature allowing for users to respond to these via the new messaging feature.
Fortunately Tumblr has answered a few questions before they’re asked, such as the fact that anyone can message you unless you choose to have “only people I follow” message you, and the fact that messages can’t be anonymous.