Tumblr Rebuilds Search Feature To Be More Powerful, Filter NSFW Tags Better As It Passes 65B Posts

Tumblr has completely revamped its search feature to make it more user friendly and powerful. Among the updates are the ability to use multiple tags in one query, easier access to the explicit content filter and filtering by post type.

In the post announcing the search changes, Tumblr also notes that it has passed 65 billion total posts, making a more powerful search something nice to see. The previous version of Tumblr search was…anemic to say the least. Most of the time using a Google site operator would get you more relevant results.

The new search feature allows you to use multiple tags in one go, letting you narrow the field to more specific cross-categories. You can search for #puppies and #wagging all at once now to find the perfect excited GIF. There is also a subtle change to search that allows you to use simple queries without a hashtag to return both mentions of a term and posts tagged with that term.

Searching for “ponies,” for instance, will get you posts that mention ponies and posts that are tagged with #ponies. Search results now also return blogs related to those queries.


The final update is related to the explicit content filter, which many have criticized for being buried and confusing to tweak. It’s now right on the search results page where it can be easily accessed. Tumblr also mentions that it’s tweaked its NSFW filtering to stop blocking tags that are not “natively” explicit.

There was some controversy earlier this year over Tumblr not showing tags that were considered NSFW, but that weren’t by default (things like “gay,” “lesbian” or “bisexual”). This release attempts to tweak those results to surface non-NSFW tags in regular searches, even with the filtering enabled. Tumblr also mentions that this was partially done to unblock tags that were filtered due to policies like those on Apple’s App Store.