8 Reasons Why Tumblr is Better Than Twitter

by Brett Pollard on November 27, 2009

And why it probably doesn’t matter anyway…

I have become dependent on Twitter for many things these days.  The service itself is brilliant in it’s simplicity, effective and borderline addictive to a loyal group of users.  But I often wonder if Twitter is doing enough to be relevant in the long-term.

Let me be clear about something here.  I am not a Twitter basher.  However, I do think Twitter has benefited tremendously by innovative 3rd party applications and services that make it a much more useful tool than it otherwise would be.  The real power of Twitter lies in it’s incredible volume of users – not it’s functionality.

Tumblr and Twitter both allow users to follow others and post updates easily.  Although that is pretty much where the similarities end.  Beyond being a “status updater”, Tumblr is also an impressive micro blogging, feature-rich service allowing users to easily create a creative social presence online.

Tumblr Dashboard Screenshot

Tumblr Dashboard Screenshot

8 Reasons Why Tumblr Is Better Than Twitter:

1)  Tumblr has built-in functionality that doesn’t require multiple 3rd party applications.  Why is it that I find it necessary to use HootSuite, Twitpic, Twitvid, Twittgroups and Echofon regularly when I’m trying to get the most out of Twitter?

2)  Tumblr allows you to have your own custom domain.  Since Tumblr is a feature-rich micro blogging service, you may actually consider making it the framework for your website.

3)  Tumblr makes it easy to share anything you find or create.  You can post text, quotes, links, photos, audio, video, dialogues, slideshows, and more.

4)  Tumblr has built in search engine optimization. Using XML sitemaps and URL slugs, Tumblr is well liked by sites like Google, Bing and Yahoo.

5)  Tumblr uses Facebook and Twitter APIs.  If you’ve got something to say on Tumblr, you can post to your Facebook wall and Twitter page simultaneously.

Alert Presence on Tumblr

Alert Presence on Tumblr

6)  You can send Tumblr posts in by phone.  Can’t get to a computer?  Have something to say out loud?  Tumblr offers you a toll free number where you can record and audio message that is immediately posted to your page.

7)  You can update your Tumblr page via email.  Whether email Tumblr a “status update”, song, quote, video or photo the service senses what you’re sharing and automatically posts it nicely to your page.

8)  You can choose to keep some Tumblr posts private. Some things just aren’t for everyone to read.  Tumblr allows you to make a post private and invite only friends, co-workers or family to view it.

Why It Probably Doesn’t Matter:

In a perfect world, the best services would ultimately win out.  However, we all know that it doesn’t always happen – especially on the Internet.  Tumblr was launched in 2007 which was a full year after Twitter’s debut.  Being first to the game (along with celebrity usage) allowed Twitter to gain a tremendous advantage in the number of users.  In social media, the number of users is the name of the game.  Unless Tumblr can find a way to get large numbers of new users, I’m afraid they will eventually fade into obscurity.  In facet, Tumblr may just be the equivalent to a critically acclaimed show that is “too good” for a broad public acceptance.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cherie June 22, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Lots of good points about Tumblr–I just came across this post. I’ve been using it with my Education students for several years, and noticed it has exploded in popularity and use. Both are great tools for sharing what you are reading or researching with others.

D. Andrew Terrill January 24, 2012 at 12:56 am

I am afraid that if tumblr stumbles, it will be due to the technical barrier to entry. It is a far more complicated toolw to get used to than FB or Twitter were.

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