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Tumblr Alternatives

Tumblr Alternatives are microblogging websites that tries to emulate the PHP-coded Tumblr and improve on it, but this isn't an easy task. Most projects start from nothing and don't have Tumblr's hosting power, so they easily become a Facebook, LiveJournal, or Twitter clone.

It isn't a secret that Tumblr is poorly managed, so the idea of kicking off a new Tumblr clone has been thrown around for years, but they often fail due to lack of a funding, organized sabotage, and people getting antsy or scared whenever the project stagnates.

General clones

Inkstand †

A screenshot of Inkstand's front page. Inkstand (inkstandapp) was a Ruby on Rails project1) that first emerged on November 29, 20142) and initially got a boost from a false censorship scare.3)4) One of the developers was ousted from the team for allegedly being racist,5)6) then people started getting paranoid.7)8)

Despite this, they started an Indiegogo campaign on August 3, 2015,9) but only raised $435 of their $10,000 goal.10) They persevered,11) even allowing people to reserve their Indiegogo accounts,12)13) and aimed for a huge alpha launch by January 2016.14)

Unfortunately, the project would be declared dead since nobody was coding,15) likely since one of them had health problems, and backers were refunded in full.16) Additionally, they said that they might have news on June 11, 2016,17) but never actually followed up on it. At the time of the project's death, the team consisted of four people who were "Alice", "Pastry", “Holly”, and "Jen".18)

Briar Nexus †

The most recent mock-up page for Briar Nexus. Briar Nexus (briarnexus) was a two-part project with a social network called Briar Haven and a virtual pet simulator called NexusPets. It had launched on November 30, 201419) and generally advertised themselves as an “online safe space” for their primary selling point.20)

Their first issue was funding: starting a GoFundMe campaign21) but cancelling it,22) starting a Kickstarter campaign23) that failed its $1,500 goal,24) and lastly starting an Indiegogo campaign, raising $1,028.25) However, their next issue was stagnation and the developer refused to admit the project was dead until a year later on September 19, 2016.26) The developer, “IceOfWaterFlock”, would rename to "Canonkiller".

Tanburu †

A screenshot of Tanburu's front page. Tanburu was a beginner PHP project27) by “Thellere” (thelltrolls) that started around May 2015,28) but it faced vigilante raiders after gaining negative attention on July 31, 201529)30) and closed on August 2, 2015. It later reopened as invite-only,31) but eventually vanished in 2016.

After this project, the developer “Thellere” would later be seen working with the Homestuck fan game, The Overseer Project,32) and allegedly tried to build a video game company off of someone else's work.33)

Pillowfort

A screenshot of Pillowfort's dashboard. Pillowfort (pillowfort-social) is a Ruby on Rails project that emerged on November 3, 201534) and launched an Indiegogo campaign on May 29, 2016,35) initially raising a total of $5,239.36) The beta servers launched on February 3, 2017 and invites were sent out in waves.37)

After focusing on a small sample of users,38)39) they launched a separate Kickstarter campaign on July 25, 201840) which raised $57,040 and they switched to a $5 paywall model.41) During Tumblr's adult content fiasco, Pillowfort rushed to fix a security vulnerability,42)43) but the servers couldn't handle the stress.

In 2020, they finally announced plans to leave open beta,44) had a small artist-fueled boom around May 30, 2020,45) and became “public” by opening a five-day window of free registrations in late January 2021,46)47) but faced a major security vulnerability48) and comedically shut down almost immediately, being put in a read-only49) for three months.50)51) As of 2022, Pillowfort has revamped their UI.52)53)

WritScrib †

A screenshot of WritScrib's dashboard. WritScrib (writscrib) was a PHP project that had both emerged and launched its Indiegogo campaign on May 26, 201754)55) which raised $16,638, excluding processing fees and PayPal funds.56) They would later begin their closed beta on September 30, 2017.57)

A few months later, their public beta began on December 31, 2017,58) but they were mostly a lame Facebook clone. On July 31, 2018, they would announce their plans to shut down, due to a lack of funds and decreasing userbase, then closed for good on August 31, 2018.59)60)

Swarmr †

A screenshot of Swarmr's dashboard. Swarmr was a bare bones website that /u/swarmrofficial created on September 5, 2017, concerned with Verizon buying Yahoo and killing Tumblr's efforts for net neutrality.61) That aside, the website sucked, did the bare minimum, and didn't allow account deletion.

You can't find a way to contact staff on the website itself and the Reddit account declined to comment when I had questioned their involvement. Swarmr announced its shutdown on June 8, 2020, but cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason62) which only raises more questions.

NewTumbl †

A screenshot of NewTumbl's feed. NewTumbl (newtumbl-2019) was a project by “Dean”63) that would emerge on December 15, 2018.64)65) It was a rather ambitious clone that had a rating system,66)67) which users volunteered to review, and it had a customizable dashboard, though it wasn't flawless.

They heavily emphasized free speech,68)69)70) but restricted Tor, VPN, or proxy use71) and just vehemently refused to let people send questions anonymously.72)73) Furthermore, it was mostly adult-oriented. The website eventually ended up shutting down around early June 2023.

Cohost

SECTION PENDING.

Cohost (@cohost_org) is a platform by the “Anti Software Software Club” that surfaced in June 28, 2023.74)

Adult-oriented clones

Bdsmlr

A screenshot of Bdsmlr's dashboard. Bdsmlr is an adult-oriented website that began as a BDSM themed Pinterest clone on May 17, 2013,75) before becoming a Tumblr clone around late May 2014.76) That aside, Bdsmlr hasn't really advertised itself, and they only started their Twitter in late June 2019.77)78)

As a Tumblr clone, it has horrible web design, everything is shoved inside menus, announcements are embedded on the dashboard, and the logo looks like it was done with the Impact font. There's also the fact that they're an adult-oriented website, which tends to turn people away.

International clones

Viewy †

A screenshot of Viewy's old dashboard.

Viewy (Вьюи, Vyui) was a Russian-language clone of pre-acquisition Tumblr that launched in 2008, except it was really obscure and faced issues with a deteriorating codebase, intrusive ads, and apparently ditched their premium service.79)

On October 4, 2019, Viewy ditched their archaic codebase. They remain blog-oriented,80) but they aren't a Tumblr clone anymore. Instead, the service has shifted onto notes, which are essentially just basic blog posts. Basically, it's like Wordpress with aesthetics now.

Microblogging in China

In China, microblogging is more associated with Twitter and Facebook feeds since they're way more popular compared to Tumblr. Diandian (点点, lit. “Little by Little”) had launched in February 2011,81) but it's been abandoned since 2015. Qing is another website by Sina Corp that was established on May 2011 and once affiliated with Weibo,82) but it was abandoned for a standard blogging experience.

2)
"Introducing Inkstand" (November 29, 2014). Inkstand on Tumblr.
9)
"CLICK HERE to support Inkstand" (August 3, 2015). Inkstand on Tumblr.
12)
"We’re still alive!" (November 24, 2015). Inkstand on Tumblr.
14)
"Check out our sweet new home page!" (January 8, 2016). Inkstand on Tumblr.
15)
"Bad News" (March 3, 2016). Inkstand on Tumblr.
17)
"We may have some news soon. Stay tuned." (June 11, 2016). Inkstand on Tumblr.
18)
"#meet the team". Inkstand on Tumblr.
21)
"Briar Nexus now has an official GoFundMe page!" [Embed] (February 10, 2015). Brair Nexus on Tumblr.
22)
"GoFundMe are anti-choice pieces of shit" [Embed] (March 21, 2015). Briar Nexus on Tumblr.
26)
"Briar Nexus is shutting down." [Embed] (September 19, 2016). Briar Nexus.
32)
"Credits". Overseer v2.
36)
"That's a wrap!" (June 26, 2016). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
37)
"And we're live!" (February 3, 2017). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
38)
"progress & updates" (December 15, 2017). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
39)
"Update and progress" (January 16, 2018). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
40)
"The Pillowfort.io Kickstarter is now live!!" (July 25, 2018). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
43)
"Pillowfort is back!!" (December 4, 2018). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
44)
"Pillowfort Turns 3!" (February 3, 2020). Pillowfort.
45)
"Join Pillowfort.social for free!" (May 30, 2020). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
46)
"Join Pillowfort for free!" (January 25, 2021). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
48)
"Company Update - 1/29/2021" (January 29, 2021). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
49)
"Read-Only Mode Now Available" (February 7, 2021). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
50)
"Pillowfort returns April 29." (April 20, 2021). Pillowfort on Tumblr.
51)
"Site Update - 04/29/2021" (April 29, 2021). Pillowfort.
55)
"We’re live on Indiegogo!" (May 26, 2017). WritScrib on Tumblr.
56)
"We Made It!" (July 26, 2017). WritScrib on Tumblr.
57)
"Beta: Tomorrow 9/29/2017" (September 30, 2017). WritScrib on Tumblr.
58)
"Open beta is a go!" (December 31, 2017). WritScrib on Tumblr.
59)
"Final Update" (July 31, 2018). Indiegogo.
60)
"Reminder: Site Shutdown on the 30th" (August 28, 2018). Indiegogo.
61)
"New Net Neutrality Supporting Alternative to Tumblr" (September 5, 2017). Reddit /r/KeepOurNetFree.
63)
"newTumbl.com Progress Update, Dec 30" (December 30, 2018). NewTumbl.
64)
"Welcome to newTumbl" (December 15, 2018). Reddit.
69)
"newTumbl’s New Rating System" (February 10, 2019). NewTumbl on Tumblr.
76)
"Login" (May 25, 2014). Bdsmlr.
79)
It was not a secure website by any means from my personal experience and I have a theory that they got rid of their premium service because of malicious advertisements. Additionally, my email was once added to a Russian spam mailing list and this was the only Russian website that I really knew about back then.
80)
"Обновление Вьюи" (November 12, 2019). Viewy.
81)
"Chinese Startup Clones Tumblr Pixel-For-Pixel" (February 23, 2011). Business Insider.
82)
"Competition between China’s Tumblr clones heats up" (May 31, 2011). Asian Correspondent.
tumblr_alternatives.txt · Last modified: 2024-04-26 02:58:17 by namelessrumia