Tumblr just hit a big milestone: 20 billion monthly pageviews. That’s impressive for the blogging site, run by youthful CEO David Karp.But if you’re familiar with older Web communities like GeoCities or Myspace, you know how traffic-driven success can be fleeting.
GeoCities scored a $3.5 billion buyout from Yahoo, only to slowly wither. MySpace’s users fled to Facebook, a competitor it used to mock.
One of GeoCities’ investors, Fred Wilson, is now an investor in Tumblr and Twitter. But he doesn’t think either of those investments will suffer GeoCities’ fate.
Neither is littered with ads the way GeoCities was, Wilson said at the Ad:Tech conference earlier today. Instead, they’re working on native advertising solutions that don’t feel intrusive to a user, such as sponsored tweets and blog posts. Tumblr’s Karp has been very cautious in how the site went about generating revenue.
In other words, both Tumblr and Twitter are prioritizing great user experiences above making easy money from banner ads, which aren’t very effective.
Another differentiator: Tumblr and Twitter have feeds displaying users’ activities, which makes the products more efficient from a user standpoint than older community-driven sites.
“More important than the native advertising model is the feed,” Wilson commented on a GigaOm article that compared Tumblr to GeoCities. “As i said at Ad:Tech today, the introduction of the feed into services like Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook has made the consumption experience much cleaner and efficient than what existed on GeoCities and MySpace. It’s both of those things in concert, not one or the other.”
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