Tumblr+ Shuts Down Post+: The Ill-Fated Subscription Service For Creators


Tumblr announced on Monday that it is shutting down its ill-fated Post+ subscription service. Launched in July 2021, Post+ allowed creators to monetize their content by paywalling select posts for subscribers. However, after facing backlash from the platform’s younger user base, Tumblr has decided to pull the plug on the service. Starting from December 1st, users will no longer have the option to enable Post+, and by early 2024, all existing Post+ content will be set to private.

Key Takeaway

Post+, Tumblr’s subscription service, is being discontinued due to backlash from the platform’s users. Starting from December 1st, users will no longer be able to enable the service, and by early 2024, existing Post+ content will be made private.

Creators’ Efforts to Monetize Content

With the launch of Post+, Tumblr aimed to provide creators with a way to generate revenue from their work on the platform. This would have been especially beneficial for artists, fandom enthusiasts, and writers seeking to monetize their content. Tumblr’s decision to introduce a subscription model, however, was met with strong resistance from the community.

Early adopters of Post+, such as writer Kaijuno, expressed feeling like “a sacrificial lamb” for testing the service on their content. While they anticipated some pushback, they were caught off guard by the community’s targeting of creators using Post+ rather than directing their frustrations towards Tumblr itself or its staff.

Post+ Challenges and Adjustments

To address the ongoing drama, Tumblr moved Post+ into open beta and removed the Post+ badge displayed next to creators’ names to avoid drawing unwanted attention. Additionally, the company introduced a lower price point of $1.99 per month, alongside existing pricing options of $3.99, $5.99, and $9.99. Tumblr also committed to taking only a 5% cut from creator profits, aligning with or offering lower commissions compared to competitors.

However, despite these adjustments, Post+ failed to gain traction. Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg, the owner of Tumblr, hinted at the discontinuation of Post+ in a recent Q&A on his blog. Mullenweg identified misinformation spread by fan fiction writers, who feared copyright lawsuits, as a contributing factor to the service’s failure. Coordinated attack campaigns from launch creators canceling the program further impacted its success.

Future Plans for Creator Monetization

Tumblr has revealed that as of December 1st, users will no longer be able to enable Post+ on their blogs. Existing subscription content, however, will remain accessible until the end of the year. In early 2024, users will no longer be able to create new Post+ content, and existing content will be made private. Subscribers will not be billed starting from January 2024, with those who subscribed through the App Store needing to cancel their subscriptions to avoid charges.

While Post+ is being discontinued, Tumblr still encourages users to support creators through tipping. Although the company has not shared its future vision for creator monetization, it is focusing on supporter badges, virtual goods, and advertising as part of its upcoming monetization plans.

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