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Tumblr Trying to Encourage Conversation with Messenger Prompts

The Next Web
A lot of people on Tumblr are the sorts of people who aren't necessarily awkward, but may suffer from social anxiety. Tumblr is a place where these people of any age can come and meet new friends with similar interests. However starting a conversation can still feel like the most uncomfortable thing to do and this update hopes to change that.

This is a seemingly small update to the messaging system, but one you won't see if you're already having a conversation with someone or if you look for it on a computer. If you do start a new conversation over the Tumblr messenger on mobile then as well as seeing whether you're mutuals or not, for how long and a little bit of their blog description, you'll also see a line saying what this user blogs about, defined by two tags. These two tags will just be things that they post about and the tags that they use the most. This does mean that it could be a tag that doesn't make sense due to their personal tagging system. However it does give you a clue as to what they post about and if you follow them already, then you might know what that tag is for anyway. The beauty of this is that it doesn't just tell you what these tags are, but you can click on them and see posts that have been tagged with that on their blog. This could just be a good way to find new users to follow even if you don't message them, but it can also encourage conversation.

The problem is that though this is a nice idea that has been handled unobtrusively within the messenger tab, it is hard to say whether this will actually have an effect or not. This probably won't help a lot of people who are unwilling to start a conversation though as they'll already follow these users they want to talk to. They already know what they have in common and what they don't, the only way this could really help is if people started to message every new follower they got. Saying that, I just debated testing that and then my automatic response was no, no, too awkward to do that. And that's coming from someone who does sometimes randomly message strangers to try and convince them to participate in activities I run. But normal conversation about something we both tag? Nope, not doing that.

The other issue could be that some users could use this to be hateful. Most people will only do so through anon asks, but now being able to see what some people tag...it might just feed the fire. Tumblr can be wonderful and this can be used to encourage friendships and positivity, but it is slightly debatable as what this is actually going to do.

This update is available now over the Tumblr app for both iOS and Android.

Rosina is a Songbird rookie with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is hoping that Content Writing will turn out to be a good career choice in the mean time! Follow her @Songbird_Rosina

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Tumblr Trying to Encourage Conversation with Messenger Prompts Reviewed by Unknown on Friday, April 22, 2016 Rating: 5

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