Once upon a time, Taylor Swift was very active on social media. She'd post about everything including but not limited to: her cat, her family, her friends, what she was baking that day, etc. She'd also interact with fans and fellow celebrities on the regular.
But on Aug. 18, her Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram were all wiped away. She unfollowed people from most of her accounts, deleted her archives, and even got rid of her profile pictures and background images.
The accounts have been slowly filling up again with new content related to Swift's upcoming album, Reputation. But so far, it's all promotional material, a far cry from the more personal tone Swift's social media presence used to strike.
But there is one place where Swift's public activity looks like what it used to: She seems to still be interacting with her fans via posts she "likes" on Tumblr.
Following the Aug. 23 announcement of her album and its first single — "Look What You Made Me Do" — Swift's account liked hundreds of posts on Tumblr relating to her return.
Some of the posts were commentary on the way Swift chose to release her new music...
MANY were theories and deep-reads about said music...
And some were interpretations of what Reputation represents when it comes to Swift's career and place in the public eye.
Needless to say, her fans picked up on Swift's activity immediately.
Swift has always maintained a very close relationship with "Swifties" — her diehard fans. She sent presents and cards as recently as May 2017. In 2015 she invited a fan into her home and baked cookies with her. She made a fan a breakup playlist around the same time. Back in 2014, she bought some fans food from Chipotle. The list goes on.
Now, her stans are pointing out that these Tumblr likes are some of the only public interactions anyone is getting from Swift right now. "It's just like a special wee thing we share with Taylor herself," tswiftnz wrote on the platform.
And during the VMAs — which Swift did not attend though she used the event to premiere her music video for "Look What You Made Me Do" — fans noticed that Swift (or whoever manages her Tumblr) was liking posts all over the place late into the night.
"The moment you see Taylor in your notifications is surreal, your heart starts beating rapidly and you're just in pure shock," swiftiefan20 told BuzzFeed News.
"Even though she hasn't said a word about her new album or the new era to promote it, she trusts her fans enough to speak for her and we sure did," swiftiefan20 theorized. "We made up theories, analyzed every single detail and hidden messages in the music video and she answered us through her Tumblr likes."
Swift's connection with her most devoted fans seems to be continuing into this new, darker era of hers. This Tumblr activity also coincides with Swift's new approach to concert ticket sales.
The "old Taylor" that Swift mentions in her single may be dead, as she claims. But some of her old habits are sticking around. And so far the stans seem thrilled.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Swift's rep for comment.
Alanna Bennett is an entertainment reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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