Now that Yahoo owns Tumblr, a lot of Tumblr fans are saying that they’re ready to jump ship in case Yahoo changes ANYTHING about their dear microblogging site.
(A typical Tumblr user reblogging in between classes.)
So What’s The Big Deal About Tumblr?
First of all, Tumblr is a free blogging site. It’s where you can post links, gain “followers”, and introduce new products or services without fear of getting banned or censored. There is no picture, video, or link too racy or politically incorrect. Get ready for a ton of “haters” in case your hate post goes viral, though. But the main point of investing in a Tumblr blog is that you get to track (and interact with) visitors even from your smartphone – yes, Tumblr has a mobile app version that’s very easy to work with.
The Downside of Tumblr
The number one downside (or upside) of Tumblr, despite its dedicated following, is that it mostly caters to a younger set. And arguably, these users have less money to spend and have stronger “ad detectors”, if you will. Translation: they are less tolerant of spam and can easily detect and evade an ad from a mile away. So if Yahoo decides to go against their original plan of not putting in any ads in Tumblr, it’s bound to lose millions of dedicated followers. Tumblr is one of those sites that quickly rose to fame and can immediately go back to Internet oblivion if Yahoo messes with Tumblr’s “user-first” approach.
Was Tumblr Even Really Relevant to Begin With?
As a Tumblr user since 2007, I’ve seen users come and go. I personally “follow” a few “brand” blogs that mostly sell fashion items and arts & crafts pieces. I would like to think that these blogs are spot-on since Tumblr is mainly for the young ones who are into art and design (there’s a more scientific research backing that sentence up somewhere in the interwebs). I’ve seen a few awkward brands try to position themselves in Tumblr and gain a few followers but they only end up sticking like a sore thumb in my dashboard. It seems that Yahoo’s main purpose for buying Tumblr is to get their hands on something “hip, young, and cool”. It’s as if Yahoo is in search for the Internet’s version of the Fountain of Youth.
Let’s face it, Yahoo’s users are mostly from the older set and it needs to step up to the plate if they want to remain relevant in the next few years. So Yahoo’s plan of acquiring and “marketing” Tumblr is probably just another ploy to get a few advertisers/investors in. It’s a great strategy. However, a lot of Internet experts have weighed in on this issue and have said their 2 cents – and that is, Tumblr may not be as cool and relevant as it’s being marketed (at least, from a marketer’s perspective).
Nowadays, Tumblr is being promoted as a social networking site like Facebook and Twitter but at the end of the day, it doesn’t have as strong a marketing potential as the aforementioned big shots. It’s a site that’s populated by “fandoms” and sparkly moving images (aka .gifs). It’s where crazy cats and introverts unite. So at the end of the day, if your target demographic isn’t the 18-24 set, then a Tumblr blog may not be such a good idea after all – even before Yahoo bought Tumblr.