Over the past six months, there has been a surge in the number of people using Tumblr, an online service that sits between Twitter and a blog.
Tumblr now generates about 450 million page views a day and 8.5 billion page views a month. This ranks it within the top tier of social networking services, along with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress and Blogger (blogs) and YouTube.
So why has Tumblr become so popular? Perhaps the best explanation is it is a user-friendly service that makes it easy to jump into the world of blogging in minutes.
After setting up a Tumblr account, you create a post by selecting one of seven options - text, audio, photo, quote, link, chat or video. This makes Tumblr a service with a lot of flexibility to meet your specific professional or personal needs or interests.
It's also made Tumblr particularly appealing to people who want to post photos, video and music. It lets someone have a blog but not have to use much or any text if writing isn't their thing.
I use Tumblr to post photos and screenshots of websites rather than posting them on my blog.
Why? In some respects, Tumblr just seems like a better place for this kind of content, while leaving longer text-focused posts for my blog.
So not only can Tumblr serve as a standalone service to post a variety of content, it can be a nice complement to a blog to deliver different kinds of content or serve different interests or audiences.
Another feature that makes Tumblr so appealing is how it can be used as a mobile blogging platform. You can take a photo or video using Tumblr's iPhone app, and then quickly post it to Tumblr in minutes.
This makes Tumblr a social media service that can appeal to completely different kinds of users than a blog.
Tumblr is finding a niche as a happy medium between blogs and Twitter. For some people, blogs seem like too much effort while Twitter doesn't provide enough real estate, given it is limited to 140 characters.
As Tumblr's growing traffic demonstrates, it is gaining a lot of traction within the social media landscape. This is no small feat given how crowded the marketplace is, but Tumblr is showing there is demand for a service that makes it quick and easy to post all kinds of content.
Special to The Globe and Mail
Mark Evans is the principal with ME Consulting, a communications and marketing strategic consultancy that works with startups and fast-growing companies to create compelling and effective messaging to drive their sales and marketing activities. Mark has worked with four startups - Blanketware, b5Media, PlanetEye and Sysomos. He was a technology reporter for more than a decade with The Globe and Mail, Bloomberg News and the Financial Post. Mark is also one of the co-organizers of the mesh, meshmarketing and meshwest conferences.
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