Tumblr is now giving users the option of hiding their blogs from the web, only making them viewable through Tumblr’s homepage or apps. The Yahoo-owned microblogging service introduced the new functionality on Wednesday; if users opt to shield their blog, the site will show a 404 error anytime it is accessed via URL.
Depending on how you look at it, the feature is either a way to maintain the community feel of small, conversation-oriented microblogs and endless streams of weird content–or, it’s a ploy to ensure that users primarily view Tumblr-generated content on a homepage where Yahoo can generate income through advertising. That said, it’s not clear how many Tumblr users will actually want their blogs to go dark.
In a blog post announcing the toggle, Tumblr calls it a privacy measure. “It’s a simple layer of privacy to let you better control who gets to see your stuff and who doesn’t,” the post reads.
Tumblr, according to Adweek, tells advertisers that it has access to an audience of about 460 million consumers. At the start of the year, Tumblr launched the Creatrs network, an in-house ad agency that pairs brands with the platform’s many artists and other creative types.