After dethroning Typepad for the bronze medal of bloghood, it looks as if Tumblr has finally decided to implement OAuth within its API (or application programming interface for you non-geeks) for third party clients.
For increased security and more resilient third-party apps, we’ve started early testing of OAuth support in the Tumblr API.
We’ve modeled our implementation after Twitter’s in many ways, supporting OAuth 1.0a with optional xAuth, upon request, where it makes sense such as mobile and native applications.
The existing authentication methods in the API are still supported for now, but we encourage developers to migrate to OAuth when possible. (Tumblr Staff Blog)
For those of you who do not speak geek, OAuth basically allows you to log into Tumblr via third party apps without giving the developer your password (which can help reduce the chances of having your account hacked).
Twitter has already forced most (if not all) developers to embrace OAuth in June, although ironically there are a few developers (mainly iPhone apps) who still require a person’s username and password to tweet from their respective device.
Unfortunately Tumblr’s OAuth is still in beta, which means that developers may avoid using OAuth option in order to avoid any unexpected problems (which could translate into a lost client for premium Tumblr applications).
Tumblr has not indicated when they will require developers to embrace OAuth or lose access to the Tumblrverse, although hopefully the company follows Twitter’s footsteps and makes OAuth a universal requirement (preferably sooner than later).