Tumblr is adding support for livestreaming via the video platform Livebox. The feature is being rolled out to US users on iOS and Android now, and a release for global users and the desktop site is planned for the future. More details are outlined in a blog post, which dubs the service Tumblr Live.
Tumblr has supported streaming in the past, but it did so by letting people share streams from other services like YouNow and YouTube. The new option is described as a native Tumblr streaming service powered by Livebox. (Livebox is operated by the Meet Group, a subsidiary of the dating app company ParshipMeet Group.) Livebox allows users to tip streamers, and by the same token, Tumblr will let you pay creators in a virtual currency called “Diamonds.” Livebox provides AI- and human-powered moderation for streams, according to a press release; the service also lets streamers designate trusted viewers as moderators. The streaming service is so far only supported for people’s primary Tumblr blog, not any side blogs under the same account.
The new feature comes as Tumblr owner Automattic is trying to revitalize the blogging platform that it purchased from Verizon in 2019. Tumblr has reaped the benefits of recent chaos at Twitter, emerging as a potential alternative to new owner Elon Musk’s chaotic policies. (Apparently, it wasn’t quite enough of a threat to be named in Twitter’s short-lived ban on linking to competitors.) Its streaming feature isn’t likely to overtake Twitch or YouTube, but it adds another medium — and a new way to make money — for the artist-heavy community.