Could Tumblr Become the Next CMS Powerhouse?

By Kaya Ismail June 5, 2013 Articles and Editorials

With just over 113 million active blogs, Tumblr is already a big player in the world of microblogging. However, following Yahoo!'s $1.3 Billion takeover, is there a chance of Tumblr becoming the next CMS powerhouse?

It's no secret that Tumblr has a long way to go before it catches up with WordPress, or even the likes of Joomla & Drupal which help make up the competition, but Tumblr has some unique advantages which make it worthy of a passing mention amongst these CMS giants.

Tumblr is not a platform which readily springs to mind when thinking about content management systems, yet it certainly has the raw ingredients and potential to reach such a prestigious status.

Strong Foundations Rarely Tumble

If there is one thing Tumblr can rely on going forward, it is a strong foundation. Since its birth in 2007, the microblogging platform has gone from strength to strength.

With a total of 52 billion individual posts, it's safe to assume that Tumblr's user base is flourishing. In fact, the website boasts 300 million monthly unique visitors, with 900 posts going live every second. In light of these figures, it is not surprising that Tumblr is amongst the fastest growing CMS and blogging platforms around.

Despite Tumblr's strong roots within the blogging community, it is important to note that the tumblelogging platform is still in its youth compared to WordPress, Joomla and Drupal, all of which were founded years before Tumblr.

The statistics above prove that Tumblr is a young, exciting project, and such figures would have certainly played a key role in Yahoo's decision to acquire the platform.

Tumblr as a CMS

In order to compete with the likes of Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal, Tumblr needs to have a few content management tricks up its sleeve.

Tumblr's main straighten when it comes to being a CMS, is its incredible simplicity.

As the Internet continues to grow, new areas of the globe and its blossoming population are being touched. The world of blogging and social interaction are attracting people who are both younger and older than ever before, and it is precisely these untapped demographics which Tumblr could appeal to most.

Despite being extremely easy to use, WordPress still requires a learning curve to get used to. The same applies to most of the major WordPress competition. Tumblr on the other hand, offers a whole new level of simpleness.

Tumblr requires no installation or configuration, nor does it require you to pay for a personal hosting plan – yet still allows you to operate via a unique URL.

Additionally, Tumblr's social integration is unmatched. Re-blogging, following and liking content from other users is easy, and can promote a sense of community far quicker than most other platforms. Linking up to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks is also a breeze. It is these built-in community functions which give Tumblr a huge, unique advantage.

When it comes to design, Tumblr has some work to do. A number of themes are readily available, but page layouts are extremely limited. The only way to obtain a personalised look is to create a custom HTML theme

Lastly, Tumblr has another hurdle to overcome, in the form of search engine optimization. All great CMS comply with, and can be optimized for popular search engines – except Tumblr.

As far as Google is concerned, Tumblr is a place where duplicate content is encouraged, thanks to the website's re-blogging feature. This, combined with the fact that many Tumblr pages lack unique title tags, combines to create a huge obstacle for users looking to rank well in the search engines.

Yahoo's Plans

Immediately following the news of Yahoo's Tumblr takeover, the company released a statement via its official blog:

“We promise not to screw it up. Tumblr is incredibly special and has a great thing going. We will operate Tumblr independently. David Karp will remain CEO. The product roadmap, their team, their wit and irreverence will all remain the same as will their mission to empower creators to make their best work and get it in front of the audience they deserve. Yahoo! will help Tumblr get even better, faster.”

Although Yahoo haven't exactly detailed their specific plans for Tumblr, they imply that they will prefer a gentle approach to changing the current Tumblr infrastructure.

After both Delicious and Flickr suffered under Yahoo's rule, the promise to not screw Tumblr up is perhaps a wise statement to make, and one which many will hope Yahoo live up to.

Despite having some obstacles to overcome, there is no doubt that Tumblr has potential to become a big time CMS, blogging and social networking platform, all in one. Whatever Yahoo decide to do, it will be interesting to observe the results.

Do you think Tumblr has the potential to rival the likes of WordPress in the world of CMS? Let us know what you think.

Kaya Ismail

Kaya Ismail Author

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