Since joining Tumblr in 2007, I have observed the performance of the platform with a distinct intrigue for its potential as a social network. In many ways, Tumblr has been a breath of fresh air in a digital world where creativity and originality are often restrained by marketing and SEO strategies. Tumblr is a community where artists, writers, brands and bloggers from across the world unite to share their interests. In retrospect, Tumblr offers more flexibility than Twitter, easier set up and customization than WordPress and more privacy than Facebook. When combined, these features provide the recipe for a truly invigorating online experience.
In June 2011, Tumblr officially surpassed WordPress in growth with more than 20 million blogs. Though Tumblr is a full four years younger than WordPress, growth between the two platforms has skyrocketed within the past year. Both platforms grew by more than 10 million blogs, but it’s the overall simplicity and innovation of Tumblr that has many bloggers choosing Tumblr over WordPress.
“Unlike blogging, where you spend time thinking carefully about what you say in each post, Tumblr is really more about the moment of consciousness, and capturing a snapshot of it. Hence, where blog posts are supposed to be solid and stand-alone, Tumblr posts stand in relation to an entire thread of posts. That’s why looking at a Tumblr page is like taking a peek into a person’s stream of consciousness.”
The Manila Bulletin: Retention, self-expression, Tumblr
Much of the intrigue with Tumblr comes from the potential (and ease) in optimizing the platform for personalized use. And though it’s impossible to question the capabilities of WordPress, there’s little denying that set up and customization of WP blogs is a headache waiting to happen. Coupled with the added costs of domain hosting and custom CSS, it’s easy to see why so many bloggers are soaking up the (free) innovations of Tumblr. Take a look at how these brands have used Tumblr to target their audience in new ways: