Tumblr is on an impressive rise: Mashable reported that the blogging platform now hosts over twenty million blogs. Moreover, a huge increase has taken place in the last six months, as the amount of blogs on Tumblr has tripled since January, NPR reported. As a result, Tumblr now hosts more blogs than WordPress, another popular blogging site.
What makes this feat particularly impressive is Tumblr's age: it was founded only four years ago. WordPress, by comparison, in now eight years old, which means that it had a four-year head start in attracting bloggers.
An increasing portion of Tumblr users consists of media companies that use it to extend their web presence. From news organisations' point of view, the platform features several attractive features, such as versatile sharing options that can drive substantial traffic to publishers, as TechCrunch noted.
Last year, Tumblr hired former Newsweek editor Mark Coatney to help media organizations start their tumblogs and use them to the fullest potential. The push appears to be paying off, as the list of media companies on Tumblr includes newspapers and magazines such as the Washington Post, The Economist, The Guardian and The New Yorker. In March, Tumblr announced that more than 160 media companies blogged on the platform.
For some of the newspapers, Tumblr is merely a way to link to stories on their website. There are, however, more innovative ways to use a Tumblr blog, as Coatney told the Editors Weblog in March.
Tumblr's philosophy towards blogging is fundamentally different from most blogging platforms. As Mashable pointed out, most Tumblr blogs function primarily as a social media presence, something between a Facebook page and a website. Indeed, Coatney advised media companies to invest in conversation on Tumblr by reposting and responding to posts on other blogs. "Be a conversationalist, not just a broadcaster," he said.
For media companies, Facebook and Twitter are by now almost essential parts of their Internet strategy; perhaps Tumblr will be the next addition to that list?