Tumblr users can finally carry on real time conversations with one another. Today the company announced that instant messaging launches today across Android, iOS (assuming you've got the latest versions of each app), and the web. But it's not immediately available to everyone; Tumblr says it's taking a "viral" approach to rolling out messaging. It's giving the new feature to 1,500 users to start. Everyone those people message will also gain the new function, and the chain goes on from there. "You’ll receive the messaging feature when a friend who has it already messages you, passing it along," reads a new support page with more specifics on messaging.
Tumblr says everyone will get it sometime in December. For now, you're limited to text and one-on-one conversations; support for GIFs, images, and group chat is in the works. Private and group blogs are also unable to use messaging at this time. And by default (once activated), anyone can message you, but users can change an option in settings so that they'll only receive messages from people they follow. The company — rightfully so — doesn't seem to think Tumblr messaging will replace Facebook Messenger or Snapchat for anyone. It's simply filling a longtime request from users. Fan Mail, which is how Tumblr users previously communicated privately, is being phased out with the new change.