Tumblr Now Has 17+ Mature Rating

In an attempt to avoid the so called ‘porn-war’ that berated 500px and Vine earlier this week, Tumblr has added an age warning to its iOS app that will be presented to new users and users attempting to update their app to a newer version.


Stated on their iTunes App Store description, “You must be at least 17 years old to download this app… [because it may contain] Frequent/Intense Sexual Content or Nudity.”

In an attempt to update to the 3.2.4 version, users are prompted to confirm that their age is in fact 17, or above.

Tumblr hasn’t explicitly stated why they’ve amended their app to include an age warning, but it’s suspected that the primary driving force behind the update is due to the recent reprimand that 500px and Vine received after complaints of pornographic material were submitted. Perhaps Tumblr is just trying to be proactive here.

After being pulled from the iTunes, 500px quickly updated their application to include a similar 17+ rating, which pleased Apple and in turn allowed the application to return to its previous status in the App Store.

According to an interview last June with CNet, Tumblr founder David Karp said that 2 to 4 percent of the content hosted by Tumblr is pornographic in nature. That’s a miniscule amount compared to most other microblogging and social news networks. Redditors, feel free to chime in here.

Another interesting fact – A recent survey of net users between the ages of 13 and 25 has shown that 61% of 13 to 18 year olds, and 57% of 19 to 25 year olds prefer Tumblr over Facebook.

There is speculation that this move by Tumblr might be an attention-grabbing tactic rather than  a preventative measure to avoid issues with Apple’s App Store. In my opinion, that’s a ridiculous notion. Now, it may very well be that this R rating does have a positive impact for Tumblr as far as traffic is concerned, but it certainly wasn’t the reason behind the update.

Apple has been cracking down on erotica-filled apps and it only makes sense that Tumblr would take the necessary steps to protect their app from temporary removal. It’s interesting to note that while 500px added an adult rating to their application, Vine is still rated 12+ in the App Store. Another interesting tidbit is the fact that while Tumblr’s iOS app has been revised with an adult content advisory, its Android application is still listed with a low maturity rating. Perhaps Google Play just isn’t as concerned with age-inappropriate material as Apple.

Do you think this move by Tumblr is going to have a negative impact on the application, or its users?

Chase Williams

Chase is a serial entrepreneur, electrical engineer, writer, and self-proclaimed techie. He enjoys to travel, hike, kayak, and learn new languages. He's been weightless on-board a NASA C9-B aircraft and his head hasn't quite come back down from the upper atmosphere. To keep up with his low-oxygen chatter, follow him on Twitter @ChaseHWill