Normally I don’t comment on Tumblr updates because normally they don’t really affect users… like shifting the icons or changing the logo, those don’t really do anything to hinder us or affect how we use the site.
But this comment shit? This is disgusting. If everything else wasn’t proof enough, this shows that staff has no idea how their userbase interacts with their site. So allow me to briefly speak for us:
No one, and I mean NO ONE, wanted you to change the layout of comments. Reblogs were NOT supposed to be read as individual comments. Sure, in your picture, it looks like the jokes still flow one after another. Because they are all nice and short and one-line puns. Which very rarely happens in comparison to everything else on this site.
What DOES happen is discussion. People like to communicate with each other through reblogs. They like to talk about a news story or an upcoming material release. This is not fucking youtube, where certain content creators provide something unique, and everyone else is just there to admire it. This social media site promotes discussion: where any user can write something, share something, show something… tag it appropriately, and engage with others interested in the same things.
Changing this to a user-comment format removes this idea completely. Now, the original poster is completely indistinguishable from the others, which was something that gave a bit of importance before. Now, posts that relied on the format for proper flow, by dragging your eyes to the right with names and back to left with commentary, have been destroyed - I can no longer easily tell who is responding to what. It now looks like every comment is responding to the source, which works for youtube, but NOT for this site. Sometimes the discussion tangents midway between two users, and the source is merely the context, not the topic. See how that would look bad in this new format? [Youtube comments counter this by tagging the person they are responding to over and over. You really want that on every post?? It looks awful there, why would you want to mimic that?!?]
But the worst part is, you did not “rearrange reblog comments so that they’re actually readable.“ Admittedly, the one thing this helps is that now, comments that went off the right wall are fixed. But just look at your dumb gif! What before all fit nicely on one text post is now 7 different spaced out comments. What could be read and understood at a glance now forces you to scroll almost double the length. How the hell did you think that was “easier to read” if you can’t even read it all at once??? And how do you think this will affect large commentary posts?
With this update, you’ve ruined something integral to how Tumblr users engage with your site and with each other. We enjoyed the > layout because it made sense. It’s been that way since Tumblr was created, and it sure as hell wasn’t broken. If I wanted random comments, I’d go to news sites. To forums. To Facebook. To Twitter. To Youtube. To literally any other site. Comments are a step BACKWARDS. Every site has a comment section now. Tumblr’s layout promoted discussion over time, only rivaled by Reddit (and maybe 4chan?) as THE discussion-based social media site. How you failed to understand that and capitalize on it, and instead are trying to break that system, is beyond me. But this update was by far the worst one to have been done. I seriously hope you consider reverting it.