Tumblr has announced the shutdown of its ill-fated Post+ subscription service, revealing that the option for creators to paywall select content for subscribers will no longer be available after December 1st. The full discontinuation is scheduled for early 2024, at which point existing Post+ content will be set to private and new content creation will be disabled.
The service, launched in July 2021, aimed to provide creators with a way to earn revenue from their platform posts. Despite the potential benefits for artists, fandom enthusiasts, and writers, Tumblr’s younger, change-averse community quickly expressed strong opposition to the new feature.
Early adopter Kaijuno, a writer, felt like “a sacrificial lamb” after testing Post+. They were surprised by the community’s backlash targeting creators utilizing Post+ instead of directing it towards Tumblr or its staff.
Despite the initial backlash, Post+ entered open beta and made adjustments such as removing the Post+ badge next to creators’ names and introducing a lower price point of $1.99/month. The platform also promised to take only a 5% cut of creator profits, aligning with or lower than competitors.
However, Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg hinted at the discontinuation of Post+, naming it as one of the projects being shut down. Mullenweg emphasized the need to focus on aspects of Tumblr that users appreciate and retire unsuccessful features, citing concerns from fan fiction writers about copyright lawsuits as contributing to Post+’s demise.
As a result, Post+ will be discontinued starting December 1st, with existing subscription content accessible until year-end. In early 2024, new Post+ content creation will be disabled, and existing content will be made private. Subscribers will no longer be billed from January 2024 onwards, and alternative creator support options, such as tipping, will be available.
Tumblr’s future creator monetization plans will prioritize supporter badges, virtual goods, and advertising, following Mullenweg’s previous statements.