By Savannah McClelland
Last month we shared Tumblr’s announcement that they would be incorporating ads into the Tumblr mobile app, and then Tumblr unveiled the result of their work. The Tumblr mobile ads are native, as opposed to banner ads—meaning that they are little more than basic posts marked with an animated dollar sign, which readers can “like” and “reblog.” According to a statement from Tumblr, users will not receive more than four sponsored posts per day.
The move comes as part of Tumblr’s overall strategy to become profitable this year—the mobile advertising market is forecast to increase 65% to $2.1 billion in the United States this year. Importantly for the company, Tumblr’s mobile viewership is growing even more quickly. David Karp, Tumblr CEO said in an interview back in February that he expected mobile traffic to overtake PC traffic by early 2014.
Six partners are included in the mobile ad launch, including ABC Entertainment, GE, Pepsi and Warner Bros. GE will be featuring cinemagraphs of their jet engines and locomotives, while Warner Bros. plans to use the new venue to promote their upcoming summer films The Great Gatsby and The Hangover Part III.
In the February interview, Karp said that he did not think that Tumblr would have a harder time monetizing its mobile traffic. Karp explained, “On Tumblr there are no special brand pages, there are no Sponsored Stories. There are blogs and there are posts. So as long as there are those elements and our mobile apps are getting better and better at displaying those atomic elements… We should be able to inject advertisements there in a way that’s really not disruptive and not interruptive.”
With the growing focus on mobile advertising, this move will likely help Tumblr to achieve profitability this year, a goal that the company has repeatedly focused on in press events and announcements. The six-year-old company is hungry to prove that it is a viable business, and this among the other changes that have come in the last three months demonstrate just that.