Tumblr’s new instant messaging feature, which it launched to a limited pool of users on November 11th, is gaining momentum. Users sent more than 9 million messages in the first two days.
Founder David Karp isn’t surprised that the feature caught on so quickly. “This has by far and away been the most requested feature,” he said on stage at Fast Company’s Innovation Festival.
In the first 48 hours, he said, messaging spread from 1,500 to 450,000 blogs. Twice as many messages are being sent per second as posts being created, and about 70% of messages are leading to a two-way conversation.
That’s still small potatoes compared to other instant messaging services. In 2014, WhatsApp handled 64 billion messages in 24 hours. And when BlackBerry launched a BBM app in 2013, more than 10 million people downloaded it on the first day.
“Tumblr didn’t start off as a particularly social platform,” Karp said. “It started as a publishing platform, so now to go all the way to chat and messaging is quite an evolution.”