At the end of October, Tumblr made a design change that angered a huge chunk of its user base. It widened the size of posts so their desktop appearance would be more consistent with its mobile app. One issue: That skewed the measurements of some pictures, gifs, and other media uploaded prior to the design change.
It was a significant problem for the artists, content creators, and sellers, many of whom have years of work on their Tumblr accounts. According to some accounts, prior images became pixelated and unprofessional, and there was no way to fix it. Furthermore, the huge amount of blank space the redesign created in the side bars was jarring.
The users didn’t take the change lying down, and one of them launched a Change.org petition asking Tumblr “Please listen to your audience and return Tumblr’s photo sizing to how it was originally.”
— jeff (@jvdgoot) October 30, 2014
By November 5, it had 50,000 signatures. Reactions on Tumblr and Twitter ran the gamut, from annoyance — “*urgh* #Tumblr #redesign” — to anger — “F*ck the idea that we should just sit back, fiddle with the dimensions on our stylish extensions, and and try to pretend Tumblr is still a website that includes us.” The image resolution issue was a lightening rod for some users’ suspicion of Yahoo’s “corporate agenda.”
Now, the company has responded to users. In a statement to Gigaom, a Tumblr spokesperson said that the company found a fix for the problem, and the company apologized for the inconvenience it caused. The full statement is below:
As we move toward resolution independence across devices and screens, not only are we increasing the dimensions of images on Tumblr but also more than doubling their resolution to ensure that images are always rendered in their full glory – even on new Retina and 4K+ displays. These new high-res images have been rolling out to users over the last two weeks and are now available everywhere.
Along with a handful of minor bug fixes, this should resolve the issues users were reporting.