Tumblr Goes Real Time

by on December 11, 2009 at 9:30 am

tumblr_logo_dec09.pngStarting today, the popular light blogging platform Tumblr will publish its users’ feeds in real time. Tumblr will use the increasingly popular PubSubHubbub format to announce updates. Tumblr’s real-time hub will be powered by Superfeedr. Thanks to today’s updates, Tumblr – which has close to 2.5 million users – will now be able to send out real-time alerts to any service that supports the PubSubHubbub format.


Tumblr is facing increased competition from other light blogging services like Posterous. Posterous enabled PubSubHubbub for its feed in early November and also uses a Superfeedr hub.

Getting Real-Time Updates

superfeed_logo_dec09.pngGetting real-time updates from PubSubHubbub-enabled feeds is still not as easy as it should be, but an increasing number of services are now able to consume these feeds. With standard RSS feeds, a client has to poll the feed at regular intervals (usually around once every 15 minutes). A PubSubHubbub enabled client, however, will receive a ping immediately after a post has been published.

Among these are Mihai Parparita‘s PuSh Bot, which uses XMPP to send updates to IM clients, or the Notifications iPhone app (iTunes link), which uses a web-based back-end to manage subscriptions. FriendFeed and Lazyfeed can consume PubSubHubbub feeds, too. Netvibes turned on support for PubSubHubbub yesterday when the company launched Wasabi, the public beta of the next generation of its service.