Launched in 2007 with 75,000 original bloggers, Tumblr is now host to 7,305,855,352 individual blogs, known as tumblelogs. Tumblr’s growth rate is accompanied by its exceptionally high 85% retention rate, according to Chris Dannen, who also calls it the “third prong” and “long lost cousin” to buzzword social media icons Twitter and Facebook.
What’s the hype?
Dannen mentions the convenience factor in his article, saying, “you can put media directly into Tumblr from your computer or mobile phone” rather than “having to upload things to YouTube, Delicious or Flickr, or create your own WordPress database before posting things.” Others attribute Tumblr’s popularity to the aesthetic which comes from a variety of media. Tumblelogs feature short-form, multimedia posts that can include text, images, video, audio, links, quotes, or any combination of the above. Before a post is made, Tumblr prompts the user to select the primary form of content that will be featured.
Tumblr’s best feature may be the giving and exchanging of feedback, which is made possible through a number of buttons that are displayed on each post:
- Following: Users can follow and be followed, allowing them to see the complete stream of posts from any tumblelog on their Dashboard
- “Heart”: Signifying interest or approval, comparable to a Facebook ‘Like’
- Reblog: Any user can repost another entry on their own page while crediting the original author - providing the ultimate tool for content to go viral as soon as its posted
- Answer: Posts ending in question marks are given spaces where followers can write their advice or answers, which appear in real time.
Sarah Kessler for Mashable suggests that “most Tumblr blogs function much more like another social media presence — something like a cross between websites and Facebook profiles.” Indeed, Tumblr has made it easier for bloggers to gain followings by facilitating a much more personal relationship between bloggers and readers.
Tumblr’s clean cut navy blue and user-friendly platform continues to appeal to a wide variety of users. Big names such as Microsoft, CNN, and even Lady Gaga have launched their own Tumblr pages. As of July 2011, Tumblr passed up 8-year old blogging establishment, Wordpress, in number of individual sites. Given Tumblr’s success thus far, we can definitely be expecting to see more users rushing to set up their own tumblelogs.