How to Show Whom You're Following on Tumblr

By Elizabeth Mott

Tumblr founder David Karp sold the service to Yahoo in 2013.
i Andrew Burton/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Depending on the social media you use and how you approach the online profiles you present, you may prefer to show or hide the lists of people you follow and who follow you, at least to the extent that individual sites allow you to customize these settings. Tumblr gives you full control over whether to display either, neither or both of these two interaction categories. To include your follower list, leverage your Tumblr theme's options.

"People I Follow" Box

If your Tumblr theme automatically includes a tumbleroll, you'll see a box headed "People I Follow," "Blogs I Follow" or a similarly descriptive title, and it will display the avatars of all the subscribers whose Tumblrs you choose to watch and read on a formalized basis. This box appears because your theme takes advantage of Tumblr's "followed" options, which appear in a customizable code block. You must follow at least one Tumblr to make this chunk of information appear. To find Tumblrs that appeal to you, log in to your blog, load your Dashboard and use its Explore link or search box to look for subject matter you find compelling.

Blogroll Dimensions

If you follow a long list of other Tumblrs, the length of your blogroll can make it unwieldy as a sidebar item, especially with the "Small Follow Box" option active to create a narrow blogroll with a scroll bar. Once you move the blogroll to its own page, add a sidebar link to make the listing easy to find. After you activate the "Show a Link to This Page" option on the custom-page creation screen, Tumblr adds a sidebar link to your blogroll page.

Creating a Blogroll Page

You can display your blogroll as a sidebar feature, but Tumblr's custom-layout page type provides an ideal location for the list as it grows beyond sidebar placement. If you add secondary blogs to your Tumblr account, choose your primary blog for this feature, as only it can carry a blogroll. The "Customize Appearance" Dashboard link loads the options for your theme. When you activate the "Show People I Follow" check box and save your changes, your blogroll appears. If you're savvy about coding in CSS, you can edit the code you created and change the way the feature looks.

Customizing or Creating a Tumblr Theme

Although Tumblr doesn't offer you the option to install its code on a website you host and create a free-standing blog that loads all its content from your domain, that doesn't mean you can't develop or customize the theme you use. Tumblr's theme-code capabilities include four properties you can access in a "Following" block. The {FollowedName}, {FollowedTitle} and {FollowedURL} variables hold usernames, Tumblr titles and Web addresses for the listings on your blogroll. You can choose from eight versions of the FollowedPortrait variable, which display avatars ranging in size from 16 to 128 pixels square.