Today’s scholarly reaction to the Tumblrpocalypse comes from Emily Roach.
“One of my big concerns is where fan communities will actually migrate to if Tumblr does end up driving huge parts of fandom away and/or deleting blogs. Dr Casey Fiesler and Brianna Dym’s research on migration from the journals to Tumblr identifies that the alternative platform needs to be sufficiently well established in order to encourage migration in the first place (see also a Slate article on this). At present the alternative platforms have their own glitches which drove people away from them and/or have left new users underwhelmed. Pillowfort is very new and is still ironing out issues. LJ still has the issue with its Terms of Service. Dreamwidth could work well for fandoms like Harry Potter that have a history of thriving on the journals and are quite meta/fest/fic heavy, but I struggle to see a very media-oriented fandom with a significant number of people who use their mobile phones for fan activity getting on with that space. Twitter is an established option for some fandoms, most notably celebrity fandoms, but it doesn’t work at all well for other fandoms. Unlike the LJ to Tumblr move – where Tumblr seemed like the obvious choice to people looking to migrate after deleting LJs in 2017 – my sense is that people don’t have that natural space to move to. This will lead, in my view, to people continuing to use Tumblr until the bitter end – see LJ, the biggest migration seemed to come in 2017, some ten years after Strikethrough/Boldthrough – and a new urgency around trialing alternative platforms, seeking out Discord chat spaces (and equivalent) and so on. While people find their feet on other platforms I think fandoms are likely to fragment as I don’t think people see any one space as the obvious alternative at present.”