Tumblr is what is described as a “microblogging” platform that also incorporates social elements. Launched 9 years ago (February 2007) by creator David Karp, Tumblr has provided its user base a rather unique way to share a variety of content and also find other blogs (known as “tumbleogs” internally).
Tumblr made more of a scene in 2013 when MTV began advertising its Tumblr on TV, and the site was acquired in May of that year by Yahoo! under CEO Marissa Mayer’s leadership. Since then, ads have been showing up on user’s screens, which used to not happen at all prior to then.
What Can You Do On Tumblr?
Tumblr users are able to both create their own content as well as share content that they like. Both are done primarily through the Dashboard. An example Dashboard is pictured below:
Here, users can create the following content:
-Text posts, which can include anything from random thoughts to deeper conversations
-Photos, including GIFs (and a library of them through Giphy)
-Quotes, with an area to provide attribution
-Audio, such as music or funny recordings
-Video, with a limit of 15 minutes of original video able to be uploaded per day
To share content that users enjoy, they can “reblog” posts from their dashboard and it will show up on their blog. Additionally, they can “like” posts and view them later and can tag posts with a hashtag system to be tracked.
Where Can I See My Blog?
As with other blog sites like WordPress, you design your own blog using tools provided by Tumblr. You can pick a variety of themes and customize them. There are even themes you can pay for to support the coders who design them. There’s no real set format for a blog; you can have two or three columns, a traditional blog format…there’s a lot of possibilities! You can then see your blog at a URL, like “yourblogexample.tumblr.com”. Here’s an example of a more chic, minimalist blog with an emphasis on photography and aesthetics:
How Popular is Tumblr?
According to Expanded Ramblings, Tumblr has over 550 million active monthly users and 280.4 million active blogs. Tumblr is also mainly geared towards Millennials; 69% of Tumblr’s user base are Millennials. Tumblr sees an average of 120,000 new signups each day and has now handled over 129.7 billion posts since 2007. (Check out the Stats Here)
You Said That Tumblr is Weird…
Sit down with me for a second. Let me explain.
Tumblr has managed to create a great community of younger, diverse bloggers who are really more active in their world. Lots of current issues are discussed on there every day (the Black Lives Matter movement, social injustices, people helping those in need with donations or other actions, etc.). That is the wonderful part because young people are becoming more socially engaged and invested with their world, which actually helps break this notion that kids aren’t engaging their world.
The weird part: all the unusual memes that it can spawn. I fear for my sanity.
Take a look at some of these dank memes that Tumblr has managed to spawn (WARNING some of the blog names are vulgar, I’m so sorry):
no its becky:
“Perfect couples don’t exi-“:
Any variety of the “tag yourself” memes:
And my personal favorite (as a response to poor design taste):
How Can Businesses Use Tumblr?
Businesses on Tumblr have mainly advertised on the site, but there are a few examples of their blogs going above and beyond in different ways. The Denny’s blog is an example; using really weird GIFs helps advertise their diners and gets lots of reblogs and likes on their posts (http://blog.dennys.com/). However, most publications and broadcast companies just blog links to posts on their main websites, effectively making their Tumblrs content gateways (see: http://gq.tumblr.com/ and http://abcworldnews.tumblr.com/)
The thing is, not every brand will work on Tumblr. Denny’s does work, but most people are on Tumblr for more personal content, like venting feelings or cat GIFs. A brand can succeed, in theory, by appealing to that. Old Spice has been doing this, like Denny’s, by using bizarre and hilarious content, like videos and photos. Take a look here for their “football” campaign: http://oldspice.tumblr.com/
- Have you ever had a Tumblr? What did you mainly blog about? If you don’t have a Tumblr, theorize what you would mainly blog about (art, architecture, cats, personal stuff, etc.)
- Businesses on Tumblr have to take an unusual approach to marketing their content. What kind of content would you think you’d post if you were, say, the social media manager of a local clothing boutique or eatery?
- Millennials make up a majority of Tumblrs users, and I think we can all agree that we’re not that much into ads. But there are some ads that do work. What kind of ads would you be okay with seeing on Tumblr or on any social media platform?
- Tumblr’s user base has also been described as mainly “hipsters” who are ahead of the curve in social movements, trends, and other ideas. With Tumblr becoming more popular, do you think this will remain true as the platform reaches its 10th anniversary? Why or why not?
- Fun question: tag yourself from the third meme. I’m hot dog.