Tumblr is quickly becoming one of the Web's most popular and unique platforms on which to share and discover interesting content of all media. According to Tumblr, over 5.3 million posts are made each day by the service's over 7.5 million users. Posts are passed on over and over through Tumblr's "reblog" feature, but at such a high volume it's easy to lose track of where content originated. Tumblr hopes to solve this dilemma with some new attribution functionality launched earlier today.
Whenever someone reblogs a post on Tumblr, text is generated automatically that produces a "via" link to the user it came from. As users reblog other reblogged posts, an ugly daisy-chain of these links clogs up the caption area, causing most users to simply delete it, breaking the chain of attribution.
Now, Tumblr has made is easy for users to add attribution metadata to posts just as they would tags and other information. This is great for users who want to credit where they found an interesting photo, quote or article, but this feature is a huge benefit to publishers.
As we mentioned earlier this summer, many popular publishers - including Newsweek, Huffington Post and The New Yorker - have flocked to Tumblr to share content in a new way. With this new attribution feature, they can rest assured that their content will be properly attributed as it is shared throughout the community.
This kind of publisher-friendly feature is likely a direct result of Tumblr's latest talent grab, Mark Coatney, formerly an editor at Newsweek. Coatney's new position is to serve as a liaison between Tumblr and media publications who want to leverage the platform, so it's likely Tumblr will continue to add features that will make publishers happy.