Messaging is kinda like chat. You send some characters to another user, they read them, and maybe they send some characters back to you. You do this enough and it’s called communicating. Communicating, or “messaging,” has been around for centuries. This is just our take on it.
How and what to message
To start a conversation, just look for the speech / chat bubble. In case it isn't obvious, it's that smiley face inside a speech bubble :)
From the app:
- Tap the chat bubble to open activity and messages.
- Tap the new message bubble.
- Enter a blog name.
- Start a conversation. “You complete me” is the traditional opener but “Hello” is also acceptable. Feel free to experiment with your own openers and see where it goes.
- Click or tap the paper airplane icon.
- Enter the name of a Tumblr you want to send that post to.
From the web:
- Click the chat bubble at the top right of your dashboard.
- Type the name of the Tumblr you want to message.
- Say something. But, like, be cool.
To send a picture in a message, click or tap the camera icon, choose an image (including GIFs), and send. Or you can use an existing Tumblr GIF: just click or tap the GIF icon instead, and search for that perfect GIF to say what's in your heart.
Pro tip: If you’re on the web, you can just drag an image right into a conversation. No clicking required.
Who to message
You can message pretty much anyone. It’s really up to the receiver—they have all the control. If they want to accept messages from everyone on Tumblr, then you can message them. If they only accept messages from Tumblrs they follow (see next question), you have to get them to follow you first.
For example, let’s say @cheezbag follows @pocketcheez, but @pocketcheez isn’t following back. It’s a one-way follow.
- If they both accept messages from anyone, then either person can initiate a conversation with the other.
- If they only accept messages from Tumblrs they follow, then only @pocketcheez can initiate the conversation because @cheezbag follows them.
A couple other caveats: You can’t message group blogs (not yet, anyway) or anyone who’s blocked you (obviously).
Another thing to note is that you might receive a message from Tumblrbot. Tumblrbot is an official Tumblr bot and it might message you (just once) if it thinks it can help with something. Reply with “stop” to stop receiving messages from the bot. As Tumblrbot learns more about humans, it will respond in new and different ways.
To encourage communication, you can let your Tumblr friends see that you have recently been active on your blog. We indicate this with a little green dot next to your avatar. If you'd rather not show this, it's easy to turn off.
To prevent people from messaging you, just go to your blog settings and flip the “Only allow messages from Tumblrs you follow” switch. Now Tumblrs you don’t follow won’t be able to start conversations with you. Presumably the people you do follow aren’t jerks (Note: this setting will not apply to users with whom you've previously had a conversation). You can also block users individually but that will prevent them from interacting with you or your posts in any way.
If you wish, you can turn off messaging sounds.
- In the app: From your Account tab, tap "Settings" and then "Sounds." You can turn off those bloops, shlings, and fwips from there.
- On the web: From your dashboard settings, toggle the "Messaging sounds" option off.
Disabling messaging entirely is not a thing. But you can block anyone who’s being a tool by clicking or tapping the menu (looks like three dots) in the top right-hand corner of the conversation.
Wondering what happened to fan mail? Think of fan mail like a shoebox where you keep your old love letters. They’re still there (under the envelope on the web, and under blog info on mobile) but if you want to respond, it’ll start a new messaging conversation.