Tumblr gained most of its popularity in 2011 as a social media platform made for people who wanted to document an aesthetic. Originally founded in 2007, Tumblr is a microblogging platform that allows users to post images, GIFs, text, music, videos, and more. One of Tumblr’s unique traits is the ability for users to completely customize their page, similar to MySpace and LiveJournal (RIP). At the height of its popularity, it was seen as a cooler community than Facebook and gave you the ability to write more than Twitter and share images from your phone pre-Instagram.
How did Tumblr Lose Popularity?
By 2013, Tumblr had over 73 million accounts and was acquired by Yahoo for more than a billion dollars that same year. Fast forward three years, Tumblr’s advertising revenue had failed to grow, prompting a few ownership changes over the next few years that followed. This, coupled with an adjustment to its content censorship and the growing popularity of other social platforms like Instagram, led Tumblr to fade into the background.
What’s Tumblr Like Today?
In the last few years, Tumblr users have begun to dig up their old accounts and rediscover this once popular platform – perhaps for its easy-to-use interface and chronological feed. Since its creation, Tumblr has not undergone any sort of visual overhaul or many updates to its ‘algorithm’. Much of users’ profiles are filled with shared posts (reblogs) vs. original content, which is completely expected for the platform. This lends itself to nostalgia for the usage of the platform that people find comforting – especially with all the new platforms that keep growing, like TikTok and BeReal.
How can businesses use Tumblr?
The number of social platforms on the internet can be overwhelming – friendly reminder to check on your community manager and social teams – but these platforms are powerful tools for connecting with current and potential customers, as long as you know who your target is and how to best find them. There are a number of pros and cons associated with using Tumblr for business:
- Its younger audience – As mentioned, Millennials and Gen Z have been the primary users of the platform since its inception, so brands who are looking to tap into this market may find them on Tumblr.
- Its visual format – If you are more comfortable visualizing your brand reasons to believe than memorializing them in copy, Tumblr may be the site for you.
- Its brand studio – Tumblr has hundreds of creator partners in its “Tumblr Creatr Network” that can be commissioned to create visuals for brands that fit in with both their aesthetic and the Tumblr format. Check out this example commissioned for Prime Video’s The Summer I Turned Pretty.
- Its competition – The platform has never quite been as large as the Meta entities, so brands would have to understand its niche-ness and the limited reach it may have.
- Its younger audience – Yes you read that again! If your target audience is over 35, then Tumblr is not the platform for you. Statista claims the user base is between the ages of 15 and 35.
Tumblr offers several options for businesses interested in advertising on the platform, among them native ad experiences and custom placement opportunities designed to meet a brand’s unique needs.
So how do you know what platform is best?
At Marketsmith, our media team’s expertise in Social Media and Digital marketing grows by the minute. Our team holds numerous certifications, from Facebook to Snapchat to Google Ads, and can help you understand what channels work best for your business goals. Contact us today to discuss our proprietary approach to media mix and how we can help your business grow.