What is Tumblr Live and how does it work?

Tumblr Live was revealed in late 2022. But how does it work, who can use it, and can you make money running a Tumblr livestream? Let’s find out.

Using Tumblr Live

Relax. You’ve not stepped into a time machine. Tumblr is alive and well, and it’s now got a live-streaming function! But how does Tumblr Live work, who can use it, and is it worth doing? Let’s find out.

Is Tumblr still a thing?

Tumblr’s still very much a ‘thing’. It doesn’t have the same reach as back in the day, but the microblogging site still had 292 million website visits in 2022 alone. That was a dip from 308 million in 2021, but it’s a lot of clicks regardless!

It’s also worth noting that 61% of Tumblr’s new visitors in 2021 were Gen Z or younger – that being, 24 years old or below. So, Tumblr’s tapped into something that appeals to the youth.

What is Tumblr Live?

Tumblr Live does what it says on the can: it’s Tumblr’s native livestreaming service. Unveiled in late 2022, it can be seen as a potential – albeit smaller – alternative to the likes of Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live and TikTok LIVE. 

It’s a big step for Tumblr, as the only previous livestreaming options involved using a third-party streamer like YouTube. This redirected viewers away from Tumblr, breaking up the user experience and effectively ending any opportunities for Tumblr.

Sitting using Tumblr Live

Can I go live on Tumblr?

Tumblr Live is currently only available to mobile users in the United States, via Tumblr’s app on Android and iOS. If you fit that criteria and have a Tumblr account, then good news – you can go live!

How to start a Tumblr livestream

Let’s run through how to start a Tumblr livestream.

1. Open your Tumblr app and make sure you’re logged in. You can only go live on your primary account, rather than a side blog.

2. Click the little camera icon at the bottom of the screen. This brings you to the Tumblr Live tab, where you can scroll through a bunch of live streams – the green dot means they’re live.

3. Hit the ‘Go Live!’ button. And that’s it. You’re live on Tumblr! You can use your front or rear camera, and you can also give one of your trusted friends or followers ‘Bouncer’ status. This is the same as a moderator on other live platforms, meaning they can kick people out if they’re not behaving. If you don’t want a Bouncer, Tumblr Live uses AI and manual review to check for inappropriate behavior.

If we’re going with the cliché, that was as easy as 1-2-3. You now know how to set yourself up on Tumblr Live.

Using Tumblr Live on mobile

If you can’t access Tumblr Live right now, then don’t sweat it. Desktop and worldwide rollouts are planned for the near future.

Can I make money on Tumblr Live?

Content monetization’s gotten more sophisticated over the years. Making money on YouTube, earning cash on Instagram, and even getting paid on TikTok are all valid career choices for some. Does Tumblr Live offer the same kinds of opportunities?

Partially. Tumblr Live doesn’t run advertising, so there’s no chance to make money in the same way you might by allowing YouTube Ads to run over your content. 

This makes Tumblr Live’s payment system super simple. Viewers can use real currency to buy credits on Tumblr, which they’ll then use to select a virtual gift for their favorite creators. If you’re sent a gift, you’re also awarded a certain amount of Diamonds, depending on the value of the gift. These Diamonds can be exchanged for cold, hard cash.

Can I use music on Tumblr Live?

Most streamers you’ve watched will have played music during their livestream. They might have used a track you’re familiar with, or just something with a great vibe. Can you do the same?

Of course you can! However, it’s important that you’re careful and follow the rules. If you play copyrighted music on a livestream and don’t have the correct license to do so, you could have your stream removed and penalties could be brought against your account.

Friends browsing Tumblr Live

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