Brand spankin’ new: Import Feeds

Import FeedsWe’re seriously excited to announce the latest addition to Tumblr.

You’ll now see “Import Feeds” listed on your Settings page.

You can use this to add any RSS or ATOM syndication feed, and have its posts automatically appear on your tumblelog. Not only that, but you can choose for the imported posts to be formatted as: Regular Posts, Regular Posts without titles, Photos, or Links. You can also check off “Insert attribution links” to automatically insert credits to the original source in each post.

Here are some things you can try importing:


54 responses to “Brand spankin’ new: Import Feeds

  1. This is wicked cool. I’m not sure that I’d want every Twitter or link or Flickr photo to be Tumblr-ed, but since most of those services allow for tag-based RSS feeds, you could create a custom tag in, say, Flickr for only photos you want to be posted to Tumblr (something like post:tumblr) and just import the feeds specific to those tags.

    You guys rock my friggin socks!

  2. Yeah this is cool. I like the idea of tagging photos in Flickr with a special Tumblr tag.

  3. I’m lovin’ this feature. The only thing that I would say to add is that nifty little audio player (looks like flash) that slides out and streams the file if it’s audio. That’d be great for podcast RSS. Similarly if it was a video feed (and the vid file was flash), and imbedded flash player would be cool.

    Well I’m just happy people can see when I post a new show. So this is pretty awesome. Great job everyone!

  4. this is awesome news!!! very nice added feature.


  5. After first impression (Google Reader Shared Items), I’d like to be able to customize the Attribution link so that the entry can be attributed to the original source, not my feed.

  6. This friggen’ rocks. I’ve always wanted a way to do this with other blogs, but it’s never been an easy thing to do.

  7. Very cool! Just one small bug I’ve stumbled — or should I say tumbled — upon. Imported by Amazon reviews. If you look at my tumblelog at you will see on the January 17th entry it imported the review, but then hyperlinked everything. Clicking anywhere on the import and you just get a blank page.

  8. This was just the feature I was missing from Tumblr. Will the future bring custom templates for posts? I could really use a link post with an optional comment.

  9. This is GREAT! I just started my tumblelog a week ago, and this function just made a great product even more amazing. Great job!

  10. Could you improve this feature a couple of notches and allow us to not just import from one feed at a time, but synchronize with a remote, dynamic OPML file?

    The idea behind this is that you’d maintain a list of personal feeds in your feed reader, use its OPML publishing features to host the feed list and then make the feed items visible as a River of News on your tumblelog.

    What do you think of the idea?

  11. Thanks David….great ideas!

    Yes, the ability to add a tumblr tag would be better, then the tumblr page won’t become overwhelmed by all our other stuff.

  12. OK! I added a special tag to flickr and works perfectly. It would be nice to be able to edit the feeds.

  13. Wow. This feature is almost like a dream I had, but I hadn’t thought of RSS as the conduit. Anyway, great stuff you all are doing.

    For Flickr RSS, import as photo almost as I hoped it would.

    I want the post to link to the flickr page for that photo for my readers to click on. The only way to do that now is to include an attribution line, but that takes the title of the feed which is horrible (Flickr’s fault). I see at least 3 different, non-exclusive solutions:

    – let us optionally customize the attribution text for imported feeds
    – provide an optional link field for each photo so clicking on the photo takes you to the link if present
    – link the title and description to the item/link in the imported feed

    Also, the resized imported photo is a little fuzzy vs. the flickr photo of similar size. I guess this is because the imported photo from the feed is of the medium size photo.

    For delicious RSS, it points out the usefulness of an optional link description. Links sometime need the context that a description provides.

    Someone mentioned the Amazon Reviews RSS – it isn’t tumblr’s fault. Those feeds are horrible. You would expect the title of the review to the be the title of the item and the the review to be the description, but it isn’t either of them in Amazon’s case.

    As for the OPML support request…I have a newsreader already. :-)

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  15. That’s pretty cool!

  16. Is it possible to add the ability to justify photos that you add to tumblr? I would love to center these if possible.

  17. Love the feed import. Great stuff.

    Would be nice if the images from flickr were not re-compressed. Better yet if it linked directly to flickr(saving you bandwidth). I understand that flickr has a requirement to link back to the photo page but that is covered by attribution.

    If there is any way at all that would make me much happier ;0

  18. I like it! I am new to blogging, tumblr is really my only one…it’s the easiest, and depending on content can be stunning. Thank you for providing the most Mac like blogging template so far…

    nice job, looking foreword to learning how to change a bit more, and advertise my tumblr.

  19. Would love it if the ‘Links’ option could also have an attribution link, as it would help viewers know where each of these imported links are actually coming from.

  20. How long does it usually take to update? Cause it seems to me like it takes a bit long.

  21. Is the Amazon rss still working? I just tried to import into my tumblr page and it’s not working.

  22. Oh, and it’s be nice if there was an option to import as video as well.

  23. The feeds are taking forever to load, there needs to be an option to change how often the feeds load.

  24. This is really swell. Thanks!

    FWIW, I’d love it if the feeds pulled in the link _and_ the notes for each bookmark.

  25. Cool.. Great idea!! I just wish tumblr would also have email posting function.. :)

  26. Now that I’ve played with this a lot more, I would love a little more control over the way all types of feeds are imported. It would be nice if ‘Regular posts’ could set an optional length for content, say, a snippet of the first 50 words.

    Photo imports is another good example: sometimes I upload 20 shots of products or a particular photo shoot, but I don’t necessarily want all 20 of those to appear full-sized in Tumblr. Maybe some kind of ‘batch thumbnail’ option could handle making little thumbs of all the pics that Tumblr finds when it scrapes Flickr would do the trick.

  27. I’m having trouble getting posts from before the date I added the feed to import… It’s mostly on my Digg feed.

  28. WOW… this really is a killer feature!!!

  29. Yay! Makes your own public aggregator!

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  31. My Facebook account now alerts Tumblr. Is there any hope for an RSS feed that excludes imported feeds, so I can link my Tumblr back into Facebook notes without duplicating my status posts?

    More theoretical: could one create an infinite Facebook-Tumblr loop by importing Facebook notes into Tumblr and Tumblr posts into Facebook notes?

  32. I would like to integrate my google reader shared links into the tumblr page but I get only one entry and nothing else. does this work for anybody else?

  33. Matt K., kutlay, et al.:

    On the first import of a new feed, we only take the first item. It’s intended only to enable ongoing syndication, not import an entire back-catalog of existing content.

    We’re looking into the possibility of using it as a full import/migration tool, but that’s significantly harder to do completely and correctly. We’ll have to think about it a lot more before we unleash that functionality.

    In the meantime, we’ll try to make it more clear in the interface and documentation that we’ll only import the first existing post, then all new posts after that.

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  35. I just started using this the other day, and it’s a great feature. One improvement I’d like to make though, is with my feed, I’d like to group all the links into a single post each time it checks for updates. So rather than having a single entry for each one, it’d add them all as an individual row in the same post (with notes below where available).

    At the moment I’m holding back on the number of links I tag with “blogit”, as I don’t want a whole page to be filled with separate link posts, especially when lost all get added at once when a check of the feed is made.

  36. oops: “lost” on the last line should read “lots”

  37. It would also be good if it was then possible to define a title that was added to each of these posts. So I could then specify I wanted the results as a list of links, with descriptions where available, and with the title “Recent links”.

    I’m not asking for too much am I :-)

    This is a seriously great tool though, so many thanks for building it, and letting us use it for free!

  38. opmlizr! yay!

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  41. Hey, I just came back to tumblr after a long time and am excited to see how much its grown. I was hoping to get a little more clarification around the importing feature. If I add a new RSS feed, does it grab the last item off the feed and then any new items that come, or does it grab everything off that RSS feed when I add it? Also, how often does Tumblr check the various feeds (15min, 30min, etc)?

    Keep up the great work! Can’t wait to become a pro member and help support the service.

  42. Adding content to your site has never been more fun. Do stuff anywhere, and voila! consider it Tumblr-ed. Keep it up, i love what you’re doing guys.

  43. Could someone please explain how i can setup a custom tumble tag for flickr and Really appreciate it. Thanks (

  44. from the jaws of death,

  45. Is this feature still alive? I cannot see “import feeds” section under

  46. It is alive, under the “customize” feature now.

    Though, I set some feeds and nothing has imported yet, even though they have been checked.

  47. Hey there!
    This post was EXTREMELY helpful (although the new FB format is tricky!). For some reason when I paste my Facebook status feed URL, Tumblr says it can’t find the name. Anyone else having this problem?

  48. Is this still working? Tried importing Twitter and Delicious feeds yesterday and nothing appears to be importing…

  49. Hmm, I guess it’s not broken, but it only grabs updates to your feeds which occur *after* you decided to turn on importing. This isn’t very useful if you’re trying to migrate existing content. Is there any way to hack around this?

  50. It would be really nice if Tumblr would also import the tags from!

  51. Pingback: Mike Davidson - How to REALLY Import your Delicious Links into Tumblr

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