Photo: Warby Parker
In a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Tumblr CEO and founder David Karp said, “We’re pretty opposed to advertising. It really turns our stomachs.”How times have changed. Karp announced at Ad Age’s Digital Conference that on May 2, Tumblr will start offering advertisers the ability to buy an ad unit on Tumblr Radar, which highlights the site’s top posts and gets approximately 120,000,000 impressions a day.
“I was probably being an idiot then,” Karp said of his earlier renunciation of all advertising. His conversion is relatively recent—on April 12 he told Ad Age that advertising was “a complete last resort.”
Tumblr spokesperson Katharine Barna added that the real estate being offered to advertisers was “not an ‘ad unit’ per se, but … outside of the blogs you follow [on your dashboard] there are places that we highlight certain posts and blogs. We’re incredibly excited to finally open up some of this real estate to the most creative brands on Tumblr.”
Brands have already taken advantage of using Tumblr as a platform. Lionsgate created a fashion blog called “Capitol Couture” to promote Hunger Games in January. Glasses shop Warby Parker created a mock Tumblr for April Fool’s Day to sell glasses to dogs. (Photo to the right).
Karp made the case for advertising on the social media site: “122,302 users signed up for Tumblr yesterday,” he said.
Tumblr has 20 billion posts and 50 million blogs.
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