Tumblr is a social media blogging community that prides itself on simple content creation that is easy to share, and powerful customization features. It is a growing community that you need to know if you are engaging in social media marketing. While it does not yet, it will eventually influence your Klout score.
Tumblr Explained: History and Statistics
Since its founding in 2007 Tumble has finally caught on and saw huge growth over the last two years. Between 2010 and 2011 Tumblr saw monthly visits grow by 900% globally, and 218% in the United States alone. At the time of this writing it is the 17th most popular website in the United States.
Tumblr has embraced Twitter since the beginning. It is because of this that they were so upset over yesterday’s news that Tumblr users can no longer use Twitter to find friends on the service. This is an ongoing story that will hopefully be resolved soon.
Tumblr Explained: Basic Usage
Tumblr has many of the same type of sharing features that are present with other social media networks. They refer to their home screen as the dashboard. Mousing over the top right corner of a post will display the time that it was published, while clicking on it will take you to the landing page for that post. From there you can “like” and “reblog” the post. Hitting the “like” button is similar to liking content on Facebook or +1-ing content on Google+. The “reblog” feature that is essentially the same as sharing the blog on other social media networks. A post can only receive comments if the very last character in the post is a question mark (?).
The blog publishing feature is fairly powerful. You can choose from your standard text blog, or you can make a post about a photo, video, audio file, or a link. It also supports two more creative types of posts. The first makes it clear that you are quoting someone. The second is a chat post that clarifies that the post is about a conversation.
You can queue a post so that it seems at a certain time, and tag it so that it is easily searchable. Each post comes with a short URL that is easily sharable on Twitter (though I do not see this feature available at the time of this writing). Twitter also supports bookmarklets for easy sharing, and the ability to create posts from an e-mail or a phone call. I am quite impressed with the latter. I have never seen a blogging service offer the ability to post with a phone call.
Unlike most of today’s popular social media networks, Tumblr allows users to create their own profile themes. This is not just the ability to create background images like on Twitter or YouTube. Tumblr allows you to edit the HTML and CSS of the page. This shocked me to learn. Allowing users to edit these kinds of features is what turned MySpace into a huge mess. I don’t know if Tumblr has some type of filtering system that I have not come across that prevents people from making a mess of things, if users have just gotten smarter in the post-MySpace era, or if I’ve just been lucky. Regardless, I am thankful that I have not come across a Tumblr blog that is such a mess it causes my web browser to come to a halt.
I’ve found Tumblr to be a fun, creative community. Brands such as Marvel Entertainment have been using it to connect with their audience in a fun way. What are your thoughts?