Tumblr just added instant messaging — but there’s tiny a catch

Over the past week, some changes have been happening to social media that are creating huge waves — tsunami sized waves. For starters — last week Twitter changed its stars into hearts, causing sheer and utter panic for its users. In its aftermath, it seems like everyone is slowly getting used to the minor (but so major) change, but just as things seem to be calming down, there’s another big change happening — this time with Tumblr. But users will probably be super stoked about this one.

Tumblr is officially adding instant messaging!

Applause break.

Except, for now, the instant messaging is only availably for select users.

No more applause? Don’t worry. It gets better.

The instant messaging is real, bonafide messaging (and threading) from one Tumblr user to another. But since this is such a huge launch, Tumblr notes that it’s going to take a few weeks for everyone to get the messaging feature — “we need to make sure our servers can handle the weight of your discourse”. So, if you don’t have messaging now, you’ll get it soon. And that can happen one of two ways.

These instructions come directly from Tumblr:

“Check out your dashboard for a little smiley balloon icon (if you’re using the app, be sure that you’ve updated to the latest version first). Click it to send a message to anyone. Your recipient will automagically get the messaging feature, along with your witty and uplifting message.

Not seeing the new icon? Have no fear, messaging will launch for everybody after a few weeks, giving us time to work out the kinks.”

Sounds fair enough. So if you have a friend who was lucky enough to magically receive the messaging feature, get them to send you a message. If you don’t know any of the chosen ones, you’ll need to be a little patient — but only for three weeks.

Tumblr also explained, “Once you have messaging, you’ll notice that fan mail has changed a bit. Old fan mail conversations can keep kicking, but you’ll need to use messaging for initiating outgoing gems.” Also, private and group blogs can’t use messaging yet, but all other blogs are fair game. If you don’t want to get messages from people you don’t follow, you can always change your privacy settings.


We know that not all Tumblr users are happy about the change, but it’s impossible to please everyone. Tumblr seems to be taking the right steps to make their platform even more social. Isn’t that the point of social media, after all?

(Featured image via Shutterstock)

Filed Under