Ever since its launch in 2007, Tumblr gained an impressive amount of following. To put it in better perspective, 75,000 people joined Tumblr only in its first two weeks after going live. Moreover, the consistent growth of users continued throughout the entire decade following the site’s launch.
This led to Tumblr becoming one of the most popular websites, and many people started wondering what brought Tumblr such exponential fame. While, at its core, it’s a place where people can follow blogs related to travel, food, humor, and much more, something completely different proved to be the main source of Tumblr’s success.
Namely, adult blogs started emerging and caught the attention of many. Here we’ll check out what led to Tumblr becoming one of the main sources of NSFW content and what became of it.
Tumblr and adult content blogs
While Tumblr was initially launched as any other social platform, the adult content Tumblr didn’t bother removing was what made it so popular.
Only two years after its launch, the top 16 out of 20 blogs were, in one way or another, related to porn content. This only went to show what kind of community joined Tumblr. Even if 80% of the most successful blogs were NSFW, the underground popularity of the platform is what made sure this Tumblr secret stays undetected.
As the years went by, Tumblr’s popularity grew, and so did Tumblr adult sites. Blogs gained a cult following, and inspired users started creating their own blogs that largely followed the same principle.
Regular Tumblr users stumbled upon more and more pornographic content, which at this point seemed impossible to remove as a whole.
NSFW is an acronym for Not Safe For Work, and it’s largely used all over the internet. It’s an efficient and handy way to warn people browsing the internet the content might not be appropriate to view while working.
Even though this trend started with the purpose of protecting internet users from unpleasant and embarrassing situations at work, the NSFW became useful for hiding pornographic content from children and many other similar situations.
When it comes to Tumblr, putting an NSFW tag was more than enough to pass all controls and upload just about anything you want. Once Tumblr users learned about this, NSFW Tumblr blogs reached record-breaking numbers of popularity and use.
At this point, no other social platform had such a lenient approach to NSFW content, which is why Tumblr became an NSFW haven for everyone interested.
This leads us to the following question: Who was so interested in following the Tumblr NSFW blogs?
Although Tumblr gained worldwide recognition, it was mainly popular among younger generations. Therefore, a large part of Tumblr’s following was young adult men and women who were curious about learning more about sexuality and eager to experiment with it.
Moreover, these users were also interested in following other NSFW sources, which only showed Tumblr’s relevance in the entire NSFW and porn internet exploration.
Tumblr’s Terms of Service
You’re surely wondering how Tumblr could allow the creation of so many pornographic and adult content blogs. With a proper Terms of Service agreement, they certainly had the power to terminate such accounts.
Well, according to Tumblr’s Terms of Service that were relevant at the time, any user who was “libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic, abusive, indecent, threatening, harassing, hateful, offensive or otherwise violates any law or right of any third party” could be removed from the platform.
Although the Terms claimed one thing, no action was taken to remove the sensitive content widely spread across the platform. Furthermore, there weren’t any details about what constitutes any of these forms of behavior, which is why it was fairly easy for Tumblr NSFW content to continue functioning just like before.
Tumblr porn ban
Even though there was no control or supervision of what gets uploaded to adult blogs on Tumblr, it was only a matter of time when the site would slowly start to lose its high popularity and cult following. This indeed happened when Yahoo bought Tumblr for $1.1 billion in 2013.
While there were no visible changes at first, they were unavoidable in the years to come. Since Yahoo had slightly different plans for Tumblr, all the porn blogs slowly started disappearing. Further change happened when Verizon, the owner of Yahoo, banned Tumblr adult content altogether.
This ruined Tumblr almost completely, as there were no adult and porn blogs to be found whatsoever.
After the Tumblr porn ban, the platform lost a majority of its following. A sudden decrease in popularity and relevance followed quickly after.
Although many users started wondering how to see NSFW on Tumblr after the ban took effect, they quickly found that any form of sexual and porn content was immediately removed from the site.
Today, Tumblr is still used to share pictures, videos, and gifs, but the uploaded content goes through numerous controls. Initial Tumblr users mainly moved on to search for different sites like Tumblr that haven’t been affected by the ban.
The bottom line
For years and years, Tumblr was the main place where people could find adult pictures, videos, and gifs. The NSFW content became widely popular among the Tumblr community.
However, with international companies purchasing Tumblr and completely transforming what can and can’t be posted on the site, the platform lost a large part of its following. Many users moved on to different sites that still welcomed adult content, while Tumblr became a more family-friendly space.