Following the rollout of Tumblr’s GIF search engine earlier this month, the blogging platform is today launching another new feature aimed at helping users discover and share GIFs: Tumblr TV. The addition is a combination of a search and viewing feature for GIFs, which helps you find the animated images housed on Tumblr and then view them in a full-screen mode. The “TV” part of the feature’s title refers to the fact that the interface offers player controls, like play, pause, forward and backward.
While the Tumblr GIF search engine announced a few weeks ago allows logged-in users to find GIFs to share on their own blogs, Tumblr TV is available to anyone, even if they don’t have a Tumblr account.
There are a few ways to use the new service. You can choose to visit Tumblr TV directly by way of the URL tumblr.com/tv, which defaults to showing GIFs that are currently trending across the service – a metric which is determined by a variety of factors, including the freshness of the GIF and the recent engagements.
You can also reach Tumblr TV by first kicking off a search for a particular GIF (e.g. search from the Dashboard for “OMG gif” or “OMGgifs”). This sort of search query worked well to surface GIFs from Tumblr blogs before the launch of Tumblr TV, but now users will notice that a small “TV” button is available above the search results. This is found next to the grid and list view buttons in the Explore view. When you click this TV button, you’re then taken to the Tumblr TV interface.
With Tumblr TV, GIFs are launched in full-screen mode – which, frankly, isn’t always the best look for GIFs given their often low-res nature. The GIFs play on timed loop, advancing you from one GIF to the next automatically. When you hover your cursor over the Tumblr TV interface, you’ll see the source for the GIF (the Tumblr blog which first posted it), its tags, and the player controls, which allow you to cycle back or forward or pause the Tumblr TV experience to remain on the current GIF.
You can also click on the tags that appear here in order to surf through other GIFs that share the same tag, or you can visit the blog that posted the GIF originally.
As with Tumblr GIF Search, Tumblr TV is built using the collection of GIFs already hosted on Tumblr, as opposed to integrating with a third-party GIF search engine like Giphy. The site today includes over 239 million blogs, with more than 80 million new posts daily. There are currently over 112 billion posts on Tumblr, many of which include GIFs, giving Tumblr a sizable database for its GIF search services.