Tumblr cashes on increasing popularity

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Tumblr is becoming an increasingly popular micro-blogging platform that lets users effortlessly share any content they so wish. Photo - getbusymedia.com

Tumblr has raised funds of up to $85 million from several investors, led by Greylock Partners, Insight Ventures, Richard Branson of Virgin Group and several others.

The New York based social-networking site has received funds from Square Ventures, Spark Capital and Sequoia Capital, totalling up to $125 million. The company previously raised $30 million from Sequoia Capital, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures in December last year, earning a valuation of roughly $120 million.

David Karp, founder of the website, said extra money “allows us to continue to scale our business and give real focus to the further development of Tumblr.”


Tumblr?s progress on the World Wide Web has been prominent in the past year, with increase in its users and page views. It has been named as the 8th largest site blogging and social network, according to Nielson, a service provider for consumer-generated media measurement and analysis.

From May 2010 to May 2011 Tumblr?grew by 183% in unique users. In September the site celebrated its 10 billionth post. The site has more page views than Wikipedia and Twitter combined. On a monthly basis, Tumblr gets about 13 billion page views.

The highest number of daily page views was achieved in June with around 400 million. On the Internet, the number of page views goes a long way in suggesting the popularity of the site, and the more the traffic, the more the income for the site. According to ComScore, it is half the size of Craigslist and AOL.

In June, Tumblr surpassed WordPress.com for having 21 million hosted blogs. Since then, it has attracted another 9 million blogs.

John Lilly, a partner with Greylock said, “We see some of the same early dynamics in Tumblr that led us to invest in?Facebook, Pandora, and LinkedIn, and so are very excited to add Tumblr to that list.?

Along with its large and growing number of users, Tumblr?s blogging platform, has been an attraction to celebrities such as Katy Perry and Lady Gaga.

The number of Internet users in general has been on the rise through out the world. Needless to say this will directly reflect on the number of users logging in to popular sites, such as Tumblr. Based on 2010 statistics, the Internet growth in the UAE itself was 1,825.3% and the largest population of Internet users from the Middle East was in Iran, with 33, 200, 000 users.


However, “Questions around monetization still exist,” said Roelof Botha, a Tumblr director and partner with Sequoia Capital. “But the company has absolute scale, massive traction, and huge growth and money-making potential.” Facebook is still the dominant social network but Tumblr’s progress cannot be underestimated. The website holds up to 30 million blogs and generates more than 40 million posts per day, in other words, about 26,000 posts every minute.

Tumblr mainly earns out of advertising, and with its offers for customised blog themes ranging in price from $9 to $49. When compared to other websites, it does not earn huge sums of cash. Other popular online services have won big investors. This year alone, location-based mobile platform Foursquare was able to raise about $50 million in June and earned a $600 million valuation, while perennial IPOer Groupon?raised?$950 million in January, earning a valuation of $4.75 billion.

Tumblr?s appeal has attracted more of the younger generations. Around 57% of its users are under the age of 34, according to Nielson. The website?s female teen users is more than that of any other social networking site.

The site combines traditional blogging, with Twitter?s status updates or ?tweets?, and provides users with a place to share, photos, links, slideshows, and videos with each other, and also follow and re-post content from each other’s blogs.

Sources: International Business Time, Wall Street Journal, Marketing Vox, Visual Loop

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