Tumblr Blocks Bloglovin’ Over ” Features Designed to Siphon Traffic”


One of fashion blogging's most beloved platforms, Tumblr, is having beef with one of fashion blogging's most beloved RSS readers, Bloglovin‘. Since the beginning of August, Tumblr has suspended Bloglovin' from receiving new posts into their RSS reader. Translation:  if you are a big Bloglovin' user, and are on Tumblr, then any posts you have published since August 1, have not shown up on your Bloglovin' feed, or to your Bloglovin' followers.

According to Venture Beat,  a Tumblr spokesperson told the website, Bloglovin’ was suspended because they were “unwilling to remove features designed to siphon traffic from Tumblr blogs, including the wholesale reproduction of blog pages.” and that Tumblr told VentureBeat of user complaints “regarding unauthorized display of their content” lead to an investigation.”

Tumblr spokesperson told the website, Bloglovin’ was suspended because they were “unwilling to remove features designed to siphon traffic from Tumblr blogs…”

While Bloglovin' aims to position itself as a major traffic driver for bloggers, speculation is now arising around their HTML frames feature that displays content from blogs while under the Bloglovin domain. Even though, a blogger can opt-out of the automatic frames feature by adjusting their settings. The main benefit of the frames is that users can “like” and browse through their own feeds while getting the look and feel of a blog's website. However, whether Bloglovin's frames have an effect on individual blog's traffic stats remains unclear. My contact at Bloglovin' insisted that the dispute was not over the frames and that traffic is not affected by their use of frames.

The specific feature Tumblr is having issue with has not been disclosed to the public by either startup.

Regardless, until this dispute is resolved, bloggers and readers will not be able to view Tumblr content through Bloglovin.



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8 Responses

  1. Kimball Diamond

    I undoubtedly have more of a vested interest in Tumblr than most, in that I have proliferated approximately 30,000 images among a couple dozen Tumblrs I created and maintain. The nature and quality of what I do has built my ‘collections’ into a recognizable ‘brand’ strictly on the basis of aesthetics. Individual collections of images are a commodity, as are the numbers of subscribers to any particular Tumblr, and the many visits they make to each one. There is a certain level of social interaction, however, the majority of traffic is owing to the posts themselves, and is not a ‘conversation’ so much as a shooting gallery. It has never been clear to me how Tumblr would ultimately monetize traffic, other than what they state as a modest source of revenue derived from the sale of templates. Users with high traffic sometimes benefit from ad placement, if they so choose and their traffic is high enough. How that works for Tumblr? Who knows. There are big brands using the platform, one would assume they benefit from their content being bounced around among adherents to their brand. If the value to Tumblr is based on nothing more than quantity, why would they want to limit exposure in other venues? One sees Tumblr posts on Pinterest all day long. More often than not, the source or link back is to a Tumblr. Bloglovin is a venerable institution as compared to Tumblr. It has a credibility with a basis in editorial content, as much if not more than visual content. Editorial takes actual effort and chops, and is viewed with more respect than pictures of posies. Bloglovin built the careers of many well known bloggers. Why then would Tumblr want to inhibit the attention (and by extension, respect) drawn to itself by bloggers elsewhere? It is counter-intuitive. Tumblr has big problems, i.e., rampant copyright infringement, and maybe this action they have taken is about protection of copyrights. I’ll buy that. What would be far more productive and credible, would be for Tumblr to take the lead in image search. There are a handful of legitimate image search utilities, however, they are focused on their own databases or product, don’t go deep enough often enough to locate authorship, and in the case of Google Image, as example, produce search results which are absolutely useless. If posts on Tumblr carried with them quantifiable credit to the originator of content, along with a tacit license to reproduce or redistribute the content, it would go a long way toward thwarting abuse of copyrights, seeing to it that creators are compensated, or at the very least, properly credited. It would also open the way for the public to acquire images for their own purposes, whether for blogging, or for reprint. It’s a multi-billion dollar market, and Tumblr is just letting it fly out the window.

  2. sandy

    I know that the initial concern of this post is about why Tumbler doesn’t want to use blog lovin. As a consumer it’s frustrating to get locked into a frame. But bloglovin doesnt have much to give other than keeping you on their site for revenue.
    I agree with the other comment that tumblr stuff is on pinterest and you can easily get distracted by pinterest. So, it’s something more going on here. I’m thinking it’s that pinterest is more compatible with tumblr in that they are both image oriented. While, bloglovin just shares content of blogs.

    That all said, I have to agree with the other contributor and commenter that these sites with pictures are skating on thin ice when it comes to copyright. I don’t know how much longer these sites can exist before someone( a photographer) files legal papers.

  3. Kara

    I don’t really use Tumblr very often (my blog is on blogger) but I have always thought that maybe bloglovin’ isn’t helping to drive traffic the way that it is. I’ve had multiple people tell me that they’ve discovered my blog via bloglovin’ or that they read it regularly using bloglovin’s frames but when I go to look at my own analytics, bloglovin is waaaay at the bottom for a source. Like one entry every week will be from there. So I stopped actively trying to gain followers there and really stopped using it- I just go directly to the blogs I read now because I want them to have my traffic and I’d want other bloggers to do the same for me. So, I’m not really surprised that Tumblr has made this decision.

  4. Kimball Diamond

    If anything, Bloglovin should be concerned with ‘siphoning’ of traffic, not Tumblr. A relatively small number of bloggers command any appreciably
    sized audience. In my view, the platform is an anachronism, the visuals are unremarkable, Word Press blows their doors off….. Tumblr (Yahoo) continues to mystify as to their strategies. They are losing subscribers like crazy.

  5. Jaz Minnie

    I’m just reading this (I know, I’m super late) and the frustration I feel is just… UGH.

    As a blog that chose to use tumblr as their platform– despite having previously managed blogs using wordpress, blogspot, and blog.com– using BlogLovin’ was one of the easiest ways I can maintain connection with those more-experienced posters from BlogSpot!