WordPress Integrates Tumblr to Complement, Not Compete With, Its Blogging Platform

By Michael Carney , written on June 6, 2012

From The News Desk

Uber-blog platform WordPress has rolled out an integration with Tumblr this afternoon. PandoDaily had a fireside chat with founder of WordPress, and its parent company Automattic, Matt Mullenweg in New York at our PandoMonthly event last month and he hinted at this upcoming feature.

For Mullenweg, it all comes down to making WordPress more social. With its new Publicize feature, users can connect with wider audiences by sharing WordPress posts instantly on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and now Tumblr.

Previously, users have been forced to rely on clunky plugins or manually repost each piece of content to Tumblr (horrifying, I know).

The Publicize for Tumblr feature can be activated under “Settings > Sharing” in the user dashboard. Users can select from among multiple Tumblr blogs once their account is connected. Also, users can add a Tumblr sharing button to their posts and pages, enabling readers to share posts to their own Tumblr blogs.

One of the big questions tossed around during the fireside chat was whether WordPress and Tumblr are competitive or complementary services. If you take Mullenweg’s perspective, they are complementary.

The founder argued that the two services are different mediums, with the latter catering more to short-form publishing, image posting, and reblogging of third-party content. Tumblr’s dashboard traffic is higher than its pageview traffic, Mullenweg said. Also, he pointed out that Tumblr, like other social networks, can dramatically amplify content published on WordPress.

Mullenweg said at the PandoMonthly event that social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr have improved the overall health of blogging. ”Every single blogging system has been growing or accelerating since Twitter started,” he said.

As we’ve shared previously, WordPress powers 16 percent of the Web is used by 48 of the top 100 blogs. But until recently, the platform hasn’t been terribly social, or even popular, among young, casual content creators.

This newest integration shows that WordPress is thinking about these things and taking steps to improve the experience.

[Illustration by Hallie Bateman]