Tumblr, the social-blogging-platform hosting over 238.8 million blogs as of June 1, has announced its intention to take on Reddit’s popular AMA (Ask Me Anything) events with a new Q&A platform called Answer Time, as per an article in The Verge.
Tumblr doesn’t quite have the pull that Reddit does, but it’s nevertheless immensely popular with certain demographics. For those not in the know, Tumblr – which was bought by Yahoo Inc. in 2013 for $1.1 billion (as previously reported by the Inquisitr) – is a combination of micro-blogging and social network and is the internet home to many artists, writers, social activists, and members of the transgender community, not to mention a sizable helping of adult-content blogs. Tumblr is most popular with teenagers and college-aged users, with roughly half of their visitors under 25.
Tumblr hopes to leverage that community and attract more visitors to the site with Answer Time, a platform to open dialogue between users and celebrities. The first Q&A held on Tumblr’s Answer time will feature the Illinois alt rock band Fallout Boy, known to be popular among Tumblr’s user base. Other confirmed guests include rapper Vic Mensa, Tumblr CEO David Karp, and Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards.
Danielle Strle (who signs her name as “:D”,) Tumblr’s Director of Community & Content, issued a statement about the new feature.
“Our vision for Answer Time is to give awesomely creative people a place where they can connect with their curious fans, and answer questions in a way that is as direct and honest as if you are talking with a friend.”
It’s a big vision – one that Tumblr may not be able to pull off. As PC World notes, in spite of the “down-to-earth” nature of the announcement, Tumblr’s Answer Time is actually much more structured than Reddit’s AMAs, with both guests and questions being pre-selected; question submissions for the upcoming Answer Time sessions are already open. This would seem to make Answer Time a little less “talking with a friend” than Strle suggests. The guest selection also seems to be fairly tightly-controlled; Tumblr’s own take is that “you’ll be asking musicians, artists, actors, politicians, and internet personalities exactly whatever you want to ask them. They’ll be answering right on their Tumblrs.” Which, in actuality, is a feature that Tumblr already had; it just wasn’t structured.
Whether Tumblr can genuinely compete with Reddit on Q&As or whether this is simply a move on their part to highlight the celebrities who use Tumblr remains to be seen. As Tumblr puts it, “It’s going to be a little bonkers in the best possible way.”
[Image courtesy of Tumblr]