|Foundation date||February 2007|
|Headquarters||New York City, United States|
|Industry||Microblogging, social networking service|
|Employees||175 (as of May 2013)|
|Alexa rank||32 (May 2013[update])|
Tumblr, stylized in their logo as tumblr., is a microblogging platform and social networking website, owned and operated by Tumblr, Inc. The service allows users to post multimedia and other content to a short-form blog. Users can follow other users' blogs, as well as make their blogs private. Much of the website's features are accessed from the "dashboard" interface, where the option to post content and posts of followed blogs appear.
Development of Tumblr began sometime in 2006 during a two-week gap between contracts at David Karp's software consulting company, Davidville (housed at Karp's former internship with producer/incubator Fred Seibert's Frederator Studios which was located a block from Tumblr's current headquarters). Karp had been interested in tumblelogs (short-form blogs) for some time and was waiting for one of the established blogging platforms to introduce their own tumblelogging platform. As no one had done so after a year of waiting, Karp and developer Marco Arment began working on their own tumblelogging platform. Tumblr was launched in February 2007 and within two weeks, the service had gained 75,000 users. Arment left the company in September 2010 to focus on Instapaper.
In early June 2012, Tumblr featured its first major brand advertising campaign in conjunction with Adidas. Adidas launched an official soccer Tumblr blog and bought placements on the user dashboard. This launch was only two months after Tumblr announced it would be moving towards paid advertising on its site.
In May 2013, Yahoo! began talks to acquire Tumblr. On May 19, the Yahoo! board approved the deal. Many of Tumblr's users were unhappy with the news. Some have tried to start a petition which has had over 166,562 signatures. On May 20, 2013, it was announced that Yahoo! and Tumblr had reached an agreement for Yahoo! to acquire Tumblr for $1.1 billion in cash. David Karp will remain CEO.
- Dashboard - The dashboard is the primary tool for the typical Tumblr user. It is a live feed of recent posts from blogs that they follow. Through the dashboard, users are able to comment, reblog, and like posts from other blogs that appear on their dashboard. The dashboard allows the user to upload text posts, images, video, quotes, or links to their blog with a click of a button displayed at the top of the dashboard. Users are also able to connect their blogs to their Twitter and Facebook accounts, so whenever they make a post, it will also be sent as a tweet and a status update.
- Queue - Users are able to set up a schedule to delay posts that they make. They can spread their posts over several hours or even days.
- Tags - For each post a user creates, they are able to help their audience find posts about certain topics by adding tags. If someone were to upload a picture to their blog and wanted their viewers to find pictures, they would add the tag #picture, and their viewers could use that word to search up posts with the tag #picture.
- HTML editing - Tumblr allows users to edit their blog's theme HTML coding to control the appearance of their blog. Users are also able to use a custom domain name for their blog.
With Tumblr's 2009 acquisition of Tumblerette, an Apple App Store application created by Jeff Rock and Garrett Ross, the service launched its official iPhone app. The site became available to BlackBerry smartphones on April 17, 2010 via a Mobelux application in BlackBerry World. In June 2012, Tumblr released a new version of its iOS app, Tumblr 3.0 allowing support for Spotify, hi-res images and offline access. An app for Android is also available. A Windows Phone app was released on April 23, 2013. An app for Google Glass was released on May 16, 2013.
In May 2012, Tumblr launched Storyboard, a blog managed by an in-house editorial team which features stories and videos about noteworthy blogs and users on Tumblr. In April 2013, Storyboard was shut down.
- As of May 19, 2013, Tumblr hosts over 108.2 million blogs and more than 50.8 billion posts in total.
- In April 2013 the website received more than 13 billion global page views.
- As of May 2013, 75.8 million posts were created on the site each day.
The service is most popular with the teen and college-aged user segments with half of Tumblr's visitor base being under the age of 25.
To date, Tumblr has received about $125 million of funding from investors. The company has raised funding from Union Square Ventures, Spark Capital, Martín Varsavsky, John Borthwick (Betaworks), Krum Capital, Fred Seibert, and Sequoia Capital (among other investors).
In its first round of funding in October 2007, Tumblr raised $750,000 from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures. In December 2008, the company raised $4.5 million in Series B funding and a further $5 million in April 2010. In December 2010, Tumblr raised $30 million in Series D funding. The company had a $800 million valuation in August 2011. In September 2011, the company raised $85 million in a round of funding led by Greylock Partners and Insight Venture Partners.
In an interview with Nicole Lapin of Bloomberg West on September 7, 2012, David Karp said the site was monetized by advertising, and he argued that with the high number of users of the service, advertisers would start to look seriously spending money there. Their first advertising launch started in May 2012 after 16 experimental campaigns.
Tumblr made $13 million in revenue in 2012 and hopes to make $100 million in 2013. Tumblr reportedly spent $25 million to fund operations in 2012.
During the first half of 2013, Tumblr will allow companies to pay to promote their own posts to a larger audience. Tumblr Head of Sales, Lee Brown, states that the average ad purchase on Tumblr is just under six figures. Brown also states that this functionality will lead Tumblr to profitability in 2013. Tumblr also generates revenue by selling themes to users to change the appearance of their blog.
Tumblr has received criticism for the ability of bloggers to violate copyright. However, Tumblr does accept Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) take-down notices. Tumblr's visual appeal has made it ideal for photoblogs, which oftentimes include copyrighted works from others and publishing them without payment. Tumblr users are able to post content that isn't their own by "Reblogging". "Reblogging" is a feature on Tumblr which allows users to re-post content that they found on a blog which they subscribe to, onto their own blog.
Tumblr has also been criticized because a large portion of the platform's traffic is driven by adult content. Tumblr is an ideal platform for image porn: It displays lots of photos in large formats with few words and lots of tags and referrals for viewers who want more in the same vein. Some porn bloggers are also earning money by referring traffic to adult businesses through referrals and widgets.
Tumblr has had spam and security problems as well. In May 2011, the site experienced a chain letter scam that claimed 130,000 victims.
On December 3, 2012, Tumblr was attacked by a cross-site scripting worm deployed by the Internet troll group Gay Nigger Association of America. The message encouraged users to harm themselves as well as criticizing blogging as a whole.
- In August 2010, Tumblr was named as a finalist in Lead411's New York City Hot 125.
- Celebrities that use Tumblr include Lady Gaga, Zooey Deschanel and John Mayer. Many musicians of bands use Tumblr as well, including Tyler "Telle" Smith of The Word Alive, Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy. and members of Motionless in White.
- In 2011, the We are the 99% Tumblr went viral and became the unifying slogan for the Occupy Wall Street movement.
- On October 21, 2011, Tumblr became the first blogging platform to host President Obama's blog.
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