Tumblr Business Model- How it makes money

Are you a social media person? Oops, wrong question. Which social media platform you use to connect with your friends and family. There are many social media networks in the market now such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It is not an exaggeration to say that it would be impossible for people to connect with their closed ones without social media platforms.

These platforms have made it easy for people to connect with each other. From throwbacks moments to recent happenings they can share everything about their life on these platforms for their friends and family to see. No matter how far they are from each other they can know what is happening in each other’s lives. 

People must thank technology for bringing people closer no matter how far they live from each other now. Although you may not physically be present beside them you can still connect and know what is going on in their lives. 

Nobody remembers when the beginning of these social media platforms, for some it is myspace for others it is Facebook or something else. Your mobile will have at least one social media app that connects you with the outside world.

Over the years the growth of social media has given rise to new apps launching into the market. The social media industry is worth around 3.6 billion in 2020 and by 2025 it is expected to grow around $15.6 billion.

One such social media platform’s business model you will be knowing about in this article is Tumblr. This social media platform is a combination of both social networking and microblogging. With new social media platforms emerging every day this app is working its way to the top. But before you move further to know about the business model and how it makes money. First, you must know what Tumblr is and how it works?

Curious to know more about this Tumblr? Then what are you waiting for? Let’s dive straight into the topic then.


Tumblr is one of the leading social media platforms. The users can do both microblog and social networking on this platform. This platform was founded by David Karp back in 2007. It has risen to become one of the most popular microblogging, blogging and social networking platforms. Although the platform was launched in 2007, the idea behind Tumblr took its inception in 2006.

The founder, David, was interested in the short form of blogs. When the existing blogging websites have not released it. He along with developer Marco Arment has decided to create their own tumblelogging platform. This is the story behind Tumblr. Within two weeks of its launch, this platform has gained around 75,000 users. 

In June 2012, this platform featured its first major brand advertising campaign. They have collaborated with Adidas for this campaign. But 2013 has brought good things for this platform. It was acquired by Yahoo for 1.1 billion dollars in cash. Even after the acquisition, David Karp remained the CEO. Currently, Tumblr is under Verizon, which has acquired Yahoo back in 2016.

Now, this brings us to the question, how does this platform work. This platform is perfect for the content creators because they can find a relevant audience to their content here. As you see, this platform is not much different from other social media platforms, it has a similar operating system as the other blogging sites. This platform has surpassed 472 million registered accounts in 2019.

Currently, in 2020, it has around 292.5 million unique users across the globe. This platform ranks 7th among the leading social media platforms worldwide. Although it has the same operating model like other platforms what makes it different from other platforms is the features it offers to its users with numerous amazing features that will help them in showing their creativity to their audience.

Tumblr has a dashboard-type of an interface which is quite convenient to its users. This is the main page of Tumblr where they can find the posts of people they follow. From here the users can follow, comment, like and share the posts of others. Also, the best part is they can share the posts on their other social media accounts i..e, Facebook and Twitter.

Tumblr app is available for mobile users in Blackberry, Android, iOS and Windows. It provides its users with amazing features like scheduling and private options. Yup, you heard it right. The users can make their blogs private or schedule the posts to the time they want to publish. If you want to find the topics of your interest then you can use the tags.

There is another interesting feature of this platform. No other social media platform is offering this feature. Yup, it is exclusive in Tumblr. The users can change the appearance of their profile using the HTML code. Sounds, cool right? This is the reason why more people are interested in this platform as they can reflect their personality and style on their blog.  With fan mail, the users can send messages to the blogs they follow. 

Although Tumblr is a platform that will help creators to put out their creativity and show their best work. But the thing is that this platform makes a lot less revenue compared to its purchase price. So this has become a growing concern for the investors. And with each passing day, the other social media platforms are coming up with more and more ways to make income.

So if Tumblr wants to stay in the competition then it has to find the user base and also a way to make money. This may seem a problem, but it is true that this platform needs more sources that bring in money. There are quite a few sources and you will learn more about them here. 

Now that you have understood the business model of Tumblr. It is time to understand its revenue. What are you waiting for? Let’s know how this platform makes money. 

How does Tumblr make money?

As you already know this platform has a good user base and with each passing year, more and more people are joining this platform. Since its inception, the revenue model of this platform has not changed. The primary source of income for this platform is advertisements. 

Targeted Advertisements

Advertisements are a major source of income for many social media platforms. With the increasing popularity and the user base on these platforms. Business is also using these apps to find their targeted audience. Yup, businesses have seen that these platforms actually help them in reaching their targeted audience. So they are running targeted advertisements on these platforms.

Tumblr is no different, they place advertisements in the dashboard of the user. They call it a sponsored post. Although these posts are not that different from other posts, it is just that they are highly targeted. These ads will be directed towards the audience that follows similar interests relating to the business that advertises. Since it is highly targeted there are high chances that more targeted audiences see this ad. It also has in-stream ads. It is impossible to distinguish these ads, as they appear like regular posts. Since it looks like a normal post more and more people click on it. The sponsored posts can be in the sidebars or may appear on the dashboard. 

Sponsored apps

Apart from the above-mentioned ads, Tumblr has also started displaying another type of ads. These are quite similar to the sponsored posts because they are highly targeted to reach more audience. Also, they will be targeted based on the preferences of the blogs they follow. Now, coming to the point, these advertisements are called Tumblr sponsored apps. Also, you must note that these ads are available for a wide range of posts. They are, especially for mobile apps and games. Whenever a user clicks on this particular ad they will be directly redirected to that particular app in platforms from where the users can download.

So the users can directly download from there and use it. See if people accidentally also clicked on these ads they will be redirected to the platforms such as play store or Apple store. One they being people there are high chances that they will actually download the app. So no business wants to lose such an opportunity. Most of the businesses will be glad to take up such an opportunity. Sponsored apps are truly a new way of displaying ads. As you see Tumblr doesn’t make money because through ads like all other social media platforms. However, they are promoting ads in new ways and are becoming quite successful in it too. 

Premium Themes 

Apart from advertisements this another source of revenue for Tumblr. As you already know people can change the appearance of their blog by changing the HTML code. As you know, more and more people will be interested to show their true personality. So do you think selling themes in a market place will be effective or not? Obviously effective.

Tumblr provides its users with a market place where they can buy or sell themes for their blogs. This is especially profitable because more people have now understood the demand for these premium themes as they want to make their blog extremely good looking. As you already an attractive blog will attract more attention. And the more people visit the blog the better.

Sponsored day 

As you already know these platforms have different types of ads and the way they promote them is also quite unique. One of the biggest forms of advertisement that this platform offers is sponsored day advertising. In this type of advertising, the brands can have the whole day of the platform to themselves. But to get it they must first by cross-platform exclusive promotion on Tumblr. With this type of advertisement, the brand can get featured on the dashboard, home page.

If you think this is it, then you’re wrong. The brand will also get an exclusive tab on the explore page that is filled with the selected content. The sponsored day is best for a business that is trying to penetrate into the market, it is also suitable for businesses that are working towards growing their brand awareness. One whole day placing yourself on the app in most important places can work wonders for any business. So there is no doubt that sponsored day is the major part of advertisements for Tumblr.

Promoting the posts

If you think the above mentioned are the only sources of income for this platform then you’re highly wrong. Tumblr also makes revenue from promoting posts of its users. As you already know this platform is excellent for most content creators. They can reach their target audience. And also receive exposure to their content. But with many creators on the platform sometimes it can get hard for them to attract the attention of their targeted audience. However, they can reach their targeted audience easily by promoting their posts. All they have to do is pay $1 for their post to be highlighted in the follower’s dashboard.

As you the more people notice the post, the more chances of it going viral. Apart from creating a new revenue source for the platform, it was also created with an intention to help posts become viral. Not only this, Tumblr is a data partner with lots of brands and agencies. So with all the data they gather regarding users in the platform, they can give brands in-depth advertising of what’s happening in the platform and user thinking. This way brands can track the impact of their posts on the users. While Tumblr can make good money. 

Wrapping up

Tumblr is one of the popular social media platforms out there. Although it is not similar to Instagram or Facebook. It has its own way of connecting people. The strong point of this platform is definitely blogging. As you see there was a shortage of microblogging platforms in the market and thankfully Tumblr has come along and filled that void. People can express their thoughts whilst connecting with their favourite bloggers.

They can like, share, comment and follow the other bloggers similar to other social media platforms. The best part of this platform is that the users can change the look and feel of their blog. If you’re a content creator and want to attract more audience then Tumblr is perfect for you. As you have made it to the end of this article, hope you have good more details about Tumblr business model and how it makes money. In case if you want to read more about such articles then check out the business models category in zeen.

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