In many respects, Tumblr was a Web 2.0 success story that didn’t get as much credit as it deserved. The New York-based company had more than two million unique visitors a month and a loyal following but it didn’t get anywhere near the attention of Twitter, Facebook, Linked or Foursquare.
That was then, this is now.
For whatever reason, Tumblr has become the belle of the social media ball. According to Compete.com, the number of unique visitors has more than tripled in the past year to 8.5 million. As well, Tumblr has attracted glowing coverage from high-profile publications such as the New York Times.
So, what happened? Why has Tumblr emerged as one of the hottest social media properties, while Foursquare has failed to live up to all the hype and bullish expectations.
This is just a theory but Tumblr may be the perfect social media service.
It’s a hybrid between a blog, Twitter and Facebook. Tumblr can be used as a blogging platform but it is also designed to showcase photographs, videos, links, quotes, chats, and audio.
Tumblr fits nicely into how a growing number of people like and want to use social media because it doesn’t require as much work as a blog but, at the same time, it provides a larger and more satisfying canvas than writing short updates or tweets.
In other words, Tumblr lets you eat your social media cake and have it too.
Amid the growing attention on Tumblr, I decided to dust off my account to see whether the fuss was justified. What I discovered is that Tumblr is a different and unique social media service.
The most compelling aspect is it can be used to do just about anything depending on your interests or mood. Tumblr is user-friendly and a way for people to create and distribute content in a way that feels satisfying. It’s like having a meal in which you feel like you’ve eaten just enough.
As an enthusiastic blogger and Twitter user, Tumblr has taken some adjustment, as well as time to figure out how it fits into my social media portfolio. To be honest, it’s still work in progress.
Right now, I’m feeding Tumblr with content from other blogs but this doesn’t seem like the right use for Tumblr. Instead, Tumblr strikes me as a place for different kind of social media activity – photographs, a place to put the spotlight on good content, share music or video.
The other thing that is interesting about Tumblr is how it enjoyed steady growth until it finally burst into the spotlight this year. The company focused on providing a useful, user-friendly service while avoiding the hype that has probably damaged Foursquare’s prospects.
Now, the stars and moon are starting to align for Tumblr to the point where it may be poised to join blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube as the top-tier social media services.