Tumblr Fan Mail: It's Private Messaging, Y'all
Tumblr Introduces Fan Mail, Confuses Users
Tumblr CEO David Karp has announced a new feature called Fan Mail, which is a private-messaging system that Tumblr bloggers can use to send each other customizable messages.
Think of Facebook's messaging system, but, one presumes, more cool.
Once Fan Mail was announced, users were immediately confused as to what, exactly, the feature did.
This being Tumblr, the responses were somewhat arch:
- “Ohhh! I get it now!! The askbox was only for hate mail! we were using it wrong all along... so stupid! But now that we have the fan mail ..."
- “When you’re releasing something that you claim is BIG, you want to fill in your users about it. You want to let them know what you’re releasing so that they can use it right out of the box with minimal questions or issues. That’s basic marketing strategy.”
- “What is the purpose of fan mail? What does it do that regular messages don’t? Apart from condescend, I mean, I surely can’t be the only person who felt like they were being treated like a five year old when they read the staff announcement.”
Guys, it's a private-messaging system. It's not that complicated. This sort of thing has been around since forever (in web terms). Now, at least, user-to-user engagement on Tumblr is a bit more rich.
However, how many unread messages to you currently have in your Facebook account? Triple digits? Those are from people you ostensibly know; what's the incentive for a blogger to keep up with messages from people who are pretty much strangers?
I keep neglecting my Tumblr account for months at a time as it is, so I don't have high hopes for Fan Mail inbox management.