Using Tumblr on the iPhone

Social networking is becoming more and more integrated with smart phone, and especially iPhone, functioning as the versions roll out.  Text messaging has taken the form of social Instant Messaging with iMessage, Twitter and Facebook are both now integrated into all iPhone functions, everything is shareable on your device, and now phone calls are no longer the simple primary focus of communication on your device.  As you move forward, especially into more stationary mobile devices like the iPad, you will find that there are even more social networking services that are going to embed their way into your touch screen.  Here is a look at how to use Tumblr on your iPhone or other iDevice, which is the blog focused social media app.

Tumblr works in a similar way to Twitter in that you make postings of your own and then follow other people, so that your news feed is a customized list of just the accounts that you have chosen to watch.  The format of the Tumblr iOS app is also similar to the Twitter one in that you have a few specified tabs below and then the functions for making posts.  The primary element here is that is different is that Tumblr is designed for lengthy and image oriented posts, rather than ones that are restricted to 140 characters.


The free Tumblr iPhone app does not come embedded on the device so you will have to download and install it, and it also does not have its features simply attached to different areas of the iOS like Photos or Maps.  Instead, you will have to integrate with those functions from within the app itself.  It should also be noted that the official Tumblr app is iPhone and iPod Touch specific, meaning that it is formatted for those screens.  If it is brought onto the iPad it will either have the iPhone sized display in the middle of the screen, or it will have to be blown up and then pixelated on the iPad.

If you are logged into Tumblr then the first tab will be the Dashboard page, where you will actually see your news feed.  This is where all the blog posts will lie and will be the primary location for if you are just browsing your feed, which is likely to be the top priority of using Tumblr on the iPhone.  From here you can do things like select pictures to open up the file and even link to different blog posters, which will take them to their page.

The next tab over is for Likes, and this will list all the posts that you have press the heart Like button for.  This simply indicates that you prefer a post, similar to the Like option on Facebook.  Since the Likes are in their own tab, it makes it easy to bookmark pages that are on your top list or are important to you.

The center tab strays from the presentation of the other two and gives you the option to actually post to Tumblr, and there is a large variety for this.  When you are in Tumblr and choose to make a new post you have the option for Text, Photo, Link, Quote, Audio, or Video posts.  This does not mean that your post is regulated only to this type of content, but that the post and entry style is designed to fit a certain style type.  You can post directly from the Tumblr iPhone app here, though shorter or link posts are likely going to be preferred since you will still have to produce the content and you cannot just prepare content somewhere else and paste it in.  When you complete the post it will go out to your page, and then onto the Dashboard feed to people who follow you.

The Blogs tab will give you information about your specific account, and will have the logo for your Tumblr in the same way that the Post tab did.  Here it will list the name of your page, and link to just view it.  It will then show the number of followers, posts, and messages you have, with links to view them if you choose.

Finally, the Account tab is going to give you a similar display to the Blogs tab and will again give you a link to see who is Following your Tumblr page.  Below that will be a button that says, “Find blogs to follow,” which will allow you to import pages from people’s contents or look at blogs that are recommended by Tumblr.  Since your Contacts List allows for people to put social media information on their page, some of your contacts may actually have their Tumblr page attached.  This is going to happen more often if you have gotten contact information from other social networking services, like the Bump iPhone app.


Tumblr, unlike many of the other social networking iPhone apps, does not give you the option for immediate Notifications.  It also is free of the Location Services, though this does not really lend itself to Tumblr’s blog format.

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