What’s the Connection Between Tumblr and Teenagers?

My 16 year-old-daughter first introduced me to Tumblr when she told me that she wanted to start her own blog.  She used to spend countless hours on MySpace checking out bands, on YouTube sharing funny videos and she used her Facebook profile to keep in touch with many of her friends after we moved from North Jersey to Central Jersey a few years ago. I would say that YouTube and Facebook are still among her favorite social sites. However, Tumblr has come onto her radar and clearly captured her attention.  Based on her behavior, Tumblr is her new social media habit.

For those not familiar with Tumblr, it’s an easy platform to express your thoughts and share information through a variety of formats including text, photo, chat, links, audio and video.  Tumblr is recognized today as a platform somewhere in between a WordPress blog and Twitter stream, which lets you share media in short form or as “media snacks.”

I’ve been investigating Tumblr to see exactly what it is that makes the platform so special.  Here’s what my 16 year old has to say about Tumblr:

  • Tumblr is a place where you can express what you like and how you feel.
  • Tumblr is about yourself, above everything else … it can encompass all that you do and what you want.  Although, some people might criticize, there are so many more supporters; the community is generally supportive of what you post.
  • You can find a lot of people with similar interests. When someone reblogs a picture that I like, I look at their blog to find other things that interest me.
  • Tumblr is better than Facebook…anyone can have a Facebook, but with Tumblr it goes deeper into your personality.
  • I’m on Twitter too. Although my Tumblr is linked to my Twitter, I spend more time on my Tumblr dashboard.  It’s all right there for me, and it’s so much easier to use.
  • Tumblr is the more complex version of Twitter, yet, at the same time, it’s easier to use and manage.
  • Twitter is something you do when you’re out…”eating with my friend …” It’s what’s happening now and Tumblr is your online journal.
  • Twitter is like a memo pad and Tumblr is like a daily journal.
  • It’s the most addictive thing ever!

Here is a quick snapshot from Compete comparing Posterous (another short form blogging platform) to Tumblr, with respect to unique visitors and visits to the sites:

Unique Visitors:

Source: Compete.com

Monthly Visits:

Source: Compete.com

As you can see, there has been a significant increase in traffic and unique visits to Tumblr over the past year.  As communications professionals, it’s our job is to understand the market and to identify where various audiences congregate.  Tumblr is definitely a place of interest and focus for the Millennials.  Based on the information from February 2011 (see chart below), Tumblr is poised for growth as a simple microblogging platform.

Source: 1WD.CO