Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp described Tumblr as a return to the early Web, in which every user could express his or her own style, crticizing the uniformity of current social networks in a talk Sunday at South by Southwest.
“The Web started as a place that was wide, wide open. You were given a blank page and some crude tools that made it possible to create anything,” Karp said, aligning Tumblr with those early models.
“MySpace was one of the last places where you could sign up for a free account, and, following a few tutorials, rip the thing apart and create whatever you want.”
With, Facebook, Karp said, “we were all a vanilla profile page in a big white directory.”
Tumblr stemmed, in part, from an effort “to get back to the roots of the web.”
As Tumblr grows, nearing 100 million blogs and 8 million posts a day, the social-savvy blogging platform has begun to look like a competitor for Facebook. But Karp rejected that view, saying that Tumblr was designed to connect people on the basis of shared interests rather than social ties, he said.
Photos account for half of all Tumblr posts and fashion is the largest vertical on the platform, Karp said.