Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Is the Tumblr era back?

With bands like The 1975 and Arctic Monkeys making a comeback, is the Tumblr resurgence upon us?
SumAll on Flickr

Tumblr is a social media platform that focuses on niche micro-groups and shared topics that bring users together. The app is similar to Instagram; users can post pictures, like each other’s posts, “reblog” or repost images and add their own comments to others content. It is most widely used for fan groups, highlighting the use of photography and collages.

Tumblr was created in 2007 and was geared towards the “artsy” and creative side of social media while using short entry style blogs. The rise of Tumblr began in 2011, with over ten billion blog posts curated, and hit its peak in 2014. The app lost popularity in the following years, but seems to be on the rise once again, almost ten years later.

Regaining Popularity Ten Years Later

New social media posts romanticizing the once peak popularity of Tumblr have become popular on social media apps such as TikTok and Instagram. The grunge and emo aesthetic along with the Pink and Victoria’s Secret aesthetic of Tumblr are just a few of the cultivated subgroups of the app. Anyone from ages 20 to 30 can reminisce on the indie sleaze alternative app from their youth and the fashion and different aesthetic groupings that they fell under. Popularized tv shows such as “Skins” and “American Horror Story” created an indie sleaze gothic aesthetic to take over the app. The “twee” aesthetic was similarly popularized on Tumblr with style inspirations from Alexa Chung and Zooey Deschanel. With songs such as “Tumblr Girls” and “Sleepyhead” regaining popularity through TikTok, the nostalgia of the time seems to be taking over other social media apps.

The Music and Fashion

Artists largely popular on Tumblr during the peak of the app included One Direction, The 1975, Arctic Monkeys and Lana Del Rey. “Sex” and “Love It If We Made It” became anthems of The 1975 Tumblr fandom, along with “Ultraviolence” and “Shades of Cool” for Lana Del Rey fans. These were just some of the main musicians featured and followed on Tumblr daily; there’s hundreds of other groups for various bands and artists. Halsey, The Neighborhood and Passion  Pit were also largely connected with the Tumblr scene, the songs from the time regaining popularity on TikTok. With Lana Del Rey and The 1975 going on concert tours this year, the famed Tumblr era seems to have made a resurgence.

With concertgoers decked out in flower crowns and bows for Lana, and white button downs and Doc Martens for The 1975, the fashion inspired by Tumblr continues. Tutorials on TikTok on how to dress like the 2014 Tumblr era feature ripped tights, shorts, flannels and chokers. It seems that the younger generations that missed out on the world of Tumblr are taking an interest in the nostalgic posting of older users.

As trends continue to recycle themselves, it might be Tumblr’s turn to be on the up once again.


Like any social media app, Tumblr is by no means perfect. There have been plenty of controversies over the years regarding the app’s safety and content. Despite that, it is nearly impossible to explain to someone the craze and significance of Tumblr during its peak in the 2010s. With such a heavy focus on aesthetics and specific groupings among the app, arguably there have been no social media sites or apps that have come close to the influence Tumblr had over previous trends. Maybe it is due to the innocence of early Internet users , maybe it is simply because this app was created in the right place at the right time; social media users seem to miss the collectivity of Tumblr. The community among social media apps seen today differs from the simpler time and format of Tumblr. With the app on the rise once again, it is intriguing to see what trends continue to live on through the app, and what new niche groups that arise.


Olivia Baier can be reached at [email protected].


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