Which Is Better: Tumblr or Instagram?
By Micah McDunnigan
Choosing between Tumblr or Instagram is not a matter of one service being better than the other. Which one you should use entirely depends on what you want to use it for. Whereas Instagram gives you a quick way to share the pictures you take in your everyday life, Tumblr is a microblogging platform for a variety of media types.
Tumblr is generally a platform for microblogging: short posts consisting of a phrase, image or video clip. Unlike other blogs, which generally include longer prose -- at least a paragraph, and often much more -- microblogs are common platforms for photography or animations, memes, web comics and other media for the reader to consume in a few seconds. Tumblr is capable of long-form blogging, but microblogging is more common.
Instagram is a social network for posting photographs you take on your smartphone. Instagram users use the smartphone app to post their pictures and view the material other users post. The Instagram website has limited functionality that's mostly limited to viewing your own photos and editing your Instagram profile.
Having a Tumblr account is like having a Web page. Users can customize its appearance with themes and get their own URLs that anyone can access online. Instagram photos are only directly accessible to people with the Instagram app on their smartphones and members of social networking sites to which users share their pictures. Users can control the photos they display, but nothing about the page on which it displays.
Tumblr gives users more control over content and appearance, but Instagram provides a faster and simpler way to share pictures. It is a matter of just taking a picture, or selecting one from the phone's gallery, selecting any color filters for the images and adding a caption if you so desires. The app then posts the resulting image directly to your Instagram profile.
Micah McDunnigan has been writing on politics and technology since 2007. He has written technology pieces and political op-eds for a variety of student organizations and blogs. McDunnigan earned a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Davis.