As Tumblr evolves from blog network to modern social network, it is today adding a long-awaited feature: user mentions. When you type an @ symbol into Tumblr's compose screen, a new field auto-populates a list of usernames so you can directly refer to specific profiles when you write about them. When somebody mentions you, a new notification will appear inside your Activity page.
The feature isn't a major addition to the site, but is indicative of Tumblr's increasingly contextual user experience. What was once a quick way to post text and photo posts is now a social network with a notifications page, user "profiles" you can link to, and a news feed many media publications leverage to spread news. Instagram notably also added the ability to tag users in posts this past year — a move that makes it easier to browse photos organized by person, but which arguably also provides one more online identity to monitor and curate. Tumblr, however, won't likely encounter any blowback for its implementation of people-tagging. Tagging friends with hashtags has long been a staple of both creation and consumption on the site. Today's update just saves you a few clicks.