The English/Irish boy band One Direction (2010–16) was one of the first major artists to capitalize on social media's potential for building and maintaining a dedicated fan base over time. The One Direction fandom was particularly pervasive on the blogging site Tumblr, which was prominent between 2007 and 2018 both for its chaotic and confusing “rhizomatic” structure, as well as its popularity with marginalized users and fan communities. This article uses the One Direction fandom as a lens through which to examine the affordances of Tumblr as a platform. It argues that Tumblr encourages its users to draw on the fragmentary, potentially incoherent pieces of information they regularly encounter on the site in order to collectively create narratives that can accommodate them. In other words, Tumblr's platform characteristics produce a queer temporality that combines provisionality and multiplicity with narrative forms and meanings. The article highlights three specific characteristics of Tumblr's platform—its “backward scroll,” its tagging structure, and its recirculation of content—that together encourage users to understand time as comprised of these multiple provisional pasts, presents, and futures. The article points toward the way that narrative and theories of collective storytelling can be used as frameworks for understanding social media platforms.

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