Tumblr is opening its paid subscription features to more users. Post+, the subscription offering it in July, is moving into an open beta, the company announced. Until now, only a handful of creators had access to Post+, but with the next phase of the rollout, any US-based blogger can start experimenting with subscription-backed content (Tumblr says it plans to make Post+ available in more countries later this year). For now, Post+ allows bloggers to offer subscriptions at $2, $4, $6 or $10 a month, though creators can continue to offer a mix of free content as well.
With the update, Tumblr is joining an field of companies hoping to lure users with the promise of subscription revenue. But the company is hoping it can carve out a niche among younger users eager to experiment with the kind of creative — and often — content the blogging platform has long been known for.
“This is not reserved for professionals,” Tumblr’s Head of Product, Lance Willet, tells Engadget. “On other places — [when] I think of either Patreon or Substack, you gotta kind of start with your content and then go out and find people. We are flipping that around and saying: you already kind of have a niche, why not just start asking for people to become a supporter.”
What’s less clear is if the Tumblr user base will be willing to start paying for content they used to get for free. Just hours after the company first announced plans for Post+ in July, the company posted a message to its decrying the “targeted harassment and threats” creators were facing over their participation in the initial Post+ beta. But Willet says the company has also seen a large amount of interest from users who want to try the tools out. Post+, he says, is for anyone with a niche on Tumblr, from Gen Z “meme lords and shitposters,” to artists and podcasters and bloggers. “People can have five followers, or 15 or 500 — it doesn’t matter.”