by Lily Bradic
As part of our initiative to inform and educate new users as well as old, for the next several weeks we'll be running a new series called "Web 101" which will provide a basic overview of top (and niche) social networking platforms, their uses, and users.
Like any social network, the concept of Tumblr can be difficult to grasp if you’re not part of its user base. It’s easy enough to figure out what it does, but understanding why it’s so popular can be a bit more difficult.
What is Tumblr?
Tumblr is a social microblogging platform that works in a similar way to Twitter: you follow users, Like and reblog their posts, and send private messages. Most interaction takes place via the “Ask” box, where users have the option to ask questions anonymously, and via comments attached to re-blogged posts.
Images are the most popular form of post on Tumblr. Users can also share text, quotes, music, videos, and links.
Who uses Tumblr?
Mostly teens and young adults. Tumblr is popular with narcissists, and those interested in self-expression. Fashion, fandom, and photo filters are big on Tumblr. People tend to reblog things that help them cultivate the image of their ideal self. In part, this explains the “addiction” many teens have to the platform.
Why should you care?
Tumblr can be great for bloggers. If you play your cards right, the re-blogging aspect of Tumblr can help you organically grow your reach.
Tumblr is worth being aware of if you have children. Teens who self-harm or have eating disorders often follow like-minded users, and this can lead to a dangerous kind of competitiveness where having the worst scars or consuming the least calories becomes a form of self-validation. Think of it as a perverted kind of support group, where users keep each other unwell instead of aiding recovery.
Of course, not all of Tumblr is like this. Most of it is harmless, unless you consider Avengers fangirls and Spongebob GIFs a threat.
Is Tumblr good for marketing?
Not really — not unless you’re in the fashion or food business. Most of Tumblr is VERY cliquey — it’s all about in-jokes, inspirational quotes and pop-culture references. It’s not the place to advertise, but social bloggers can thrive there.
Have a question? Get in touch, and we'll do our best to help!