Why David Karp’s monster site should terrify Facebook and friends.
This is David Karp. Born and raised in Manhatten, Karp was interning for Frederator Studio at the ridiculously young age of 14. A born computer engineer, he worked designing websites and other software companies throughout college. He founded Tumblr in November of 2007, at the age of 21. Within two weeks of Tumblr’s launch, the service had gained 75,000 users. In October 2007, Karp sold 25 percent of the company to a small group of investors. Flash to 6 years later. Karp saw the future of internet persona and social media in short-blogging.
As of January 2013, Tumblr hosts over 87 million blogs. Here are some more mind-blowing facts about the site.
What I find most amazing about this site is the level of personable, close, raw, unapologetic honesty. In the sea of text that is social media, it is hard to find the truth anymore. I believe Tumblr has made the best blogging platform for creating an online identity that has been designed to be honest. It has perfected the balance of personal and anonymous. Tumblr is your story, not your name.
Let’s take Facebook, for example. This is a place where you go strictly to talk to your friends. Then, in the past few years, it became your family. Your great aunt. Your boss. Your little 8 year old cousin that never gets your sense of humor.
Facebook became public. It is no longer just you and your friends, those as like minded as possible to yourself. It is everyone you have ever had the pleasure or displeasure of meeting in your life. So obviously, we treat this social media platform as a public place. Not everyone gets it. But most of us, naturally, have our guard up. News flash: People’s lives are not as great as Facebook makes them appear. It is an entire site of one-uppers. My house, my job, my car, my life is better than yours. But after years and years of seeing these ego boosting status updates, people have grown tired of Facebook and the illusion of perfection that it represents.
There are exceptions. Some people float in the grey area in between “things you should post on Facebook,” and “things you should tell your therapist.” Despite for the handful of depressing vague-bookers who haven’t gotten the hint that they should be less themselves on this site, Facebook tends to be so positive that it leans towards fake. Your friends may be smiling in their pictures, but that’s because they have learned to crop the sad out.
Tumblr is an entirely different ball game. It is so addictive. I can’t even explain it. I don’t use Tumblr, Tumblr uses me.
The truth is, Tumblr is more popular than Facebook with the demographic of “new-generation” that has a tendancy to predict the future of cool. This may be the pattern for websites. Out with the old, in with the new. I am tired of Facebook’s attempt to compare me to others without including all part of who others are. Tumblr is what happens when social media stops being polite. And starts getting real.