Despite receiving a large amount of investment funds, media attention and massive traffic (which resulted in a major outage earlier), Tumblr has for the most part focused on growth rather than formulating a business plan.
However after a Tumblr employee revealed the companies plans on helping users find relevant sites, some are wondering whether the company will consider advertising via promoted blogs (sort of like Twitter’s promoted tweets) in order to help bring in more revenue for the micro blogging platform.
This is pretty cool in and of itself, but something tells us this might be the start of a new advertising play from Tumblr. After all, the Tumblr blogs that are highlighted in these channels are going to get a slew of new followers. And the companies that are increasingly starting Tumblr blogs to market themselves want to get more followers for their Tumblr blogs. So it would make sense for Tumblr to sell some spots in these channels (with all disclosures, of course). (Business Insider)
Even though this idea would help the micro blogging site bring in some revenue (among other ideas), truth be told Tumblr has for the most part avoided advertising of any kind (although users can insert their own ads upon their sites for free).
Currently Tumblr makes most of its revenue through selling premium themes as well as for listings within its blog directory, although the latter users can obtain for free if their sites become popular enough.
While the idea of promoted blogs probably makes sense on paper, it’s still unclear how users would react to marketers attempting to “invade their space” (which could result in a backlash from users).
Either way hopefully the company can find a way to generate some revenue in the not-to-distant future, especially since Tumblr may be one of the few platforms that can actually combat the decline of blogging as a whole.