Paid adverts, a first for blogging platform Tumblr  

One of the world’s popular blogging platforms, Tumblr, will start selling ads on its pages from next month. The announcement marks the company’s foray into the arena of paid-for advertising something it has been averse to thus far. Top brands like IBM and EMI Music already use it for promoting their services. However, this will be the first time they can pay to seek advertising exposure on it.

Founded about five years ago, Tumblr currently hosts more than 52 400 000 blogs. According to media reports, the platform is going to offer the ‘Radar’ space that generally appears on the dashboards of users – as a sellable ad unit. Previously, the Radar has been exclusively marked for officially curated content, focusing on notable posts all across the platform. The Radar typically receives 12 million impressions per day. What are the features that make it so popular?

  • It’s a feature-rich blog hosting platform that offers fully customizable templates, photos, bookmarklets, mobile apps and ready social network for free. The tool is known for higher number of conversations unique to the vast Tumblr community engaged in a wide array of subjects like movies, fashion, business, TV shows and consumer products.
  • Tumblr conversations mostly spread around trends and concepts. A case in point is that of Land Rover company, which posted an image of a dog riding in its model to their Tumblr page. It was an instant hit. This type of exchange can have a positive impact on overall brand management and even product development.
  • The conversations, rich in images and detailed discussion about specific brands and products can help create a buzz owing to the highly social inclination of the community. Discussions and actions like reblogging new bits about favorite brand or sharing an image of a favorite pair of shoes can move fast and deeper within it. So the posts are shared multiple times, making it highly useful for brands that are keen to leverage every conversation.

David Karp, its founder and CEO, announced the strategy at the recent Ad Age Digital Conference. Criticizing competitors (Twitter and Facebook), he said that they lacked creativity in terms of advertising, emphasizing that Tumblr would carry ‘no 140 characters & no little box’ as part of its advertising.

Mr. Karp had previously stated that they were opposed to such a move (advertising). Now the stance stands reversed. Tumblr has generated revenues until now by taking a fixed percentage of the sales for custom blog themes on the online platform. Its users have been provided the option of highlighting posts in dashboards of their followers for a $1 fee. The company has an estimated $125 million in funding. According to an estimate, on Tumblr there are 50 million new posts daily, roughly 15 billion page views each month and 20 billion total posts, amounting to a whopping 300 percent traffic growth in the past one year.

Gnip and Tumblr join hands

Meanwhile, the complete firehose of public Tumblr network posts has now become available from Gnip on exclusive basis. Access to the full firehose will make sure they now won’t miss a thing, Gnip emphasizes. The service also offers access to the whole firehose of Twitter data with its premium Twitter streams as well as data from Facebook, Disqus, Google+, YouTube, WordPress etc. It has added Tumblr to the mix. The company provides this precious data to enterprise customers for the purpose of social media monitoring or for injecting pertinent social content into the products/services.