Tumblr pulls a Twitter, adds mentions

The blogging network embraces a Twitter-inspired feature. Better late than never?

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
Tumblr CEO David Karp speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in New York. Shara Tibken/CNET

Seven-year-old blogging network Tumblr is finally embracing user mentions, aka the "@" reply feature first popularized by Twitter and later copied by almost every other social network, Facebook included.

The company made the announcement Tuesday with a Tumblr-appropriate GIF depiction (included below) of how the new mention feature works. Mentions work as expected: you can mention another person with the "@" symbol, and you'll receive a notification in the stream of your dashboard when anyone mentions you.

Mentions could help the Yahoo-owned social network boost activity, as they're designed to alert people to the actions specifically related to them. With that in mind, the release, a clear nod to Twitter's long-standing mentions feature, seems better late than never as Tumblr seeks to help Yahoo gain a stronger foothold with younger audiences.

The mentions addition comes a day after the network battled with hours of errors that affected a number of users. Tumblr has yet to detail exactly what happened, saying only that the "intermittent errors" were caused by a "compatibility issue during an update."

Tumblr mentions