Yesterday, Tumblr rolled out Tumblr Blaze for all users over 18 in the United States. The feature allows users to promote their content the same way you might boost a tweet or Facebook post on those respective platforms – you pay a flat fee between $10 and $150, and you’ll get around 2,500 to 50,000 impressions on your post.
But when you release a feature called Blaze literally the day before 4/20, you have to make a 4/20 joke. Today only, Tumblr is letting users try its new attempt at monetizing the so-called “hellsite” by offering Blaze prices at $4.20 (good), $54.20 (not so funny, clearly a catch money) and $420.00 (which would do that).
According to Tumblr, over 48% of its users are Gen Z, and if you want to appeal to a young audience, you need to find out what they think is funny. The company just pulled off a shellfish-fueled April Fool’s Day, but Tumblr wouldn’t give up as long as it was ahead. Does Gen Z think 4/20 jokes are funny? I don’t know, I’m a millennial.
420 jokes aside, Tumblr Blaze might actually make money for the social network. Ironically, you can’t post anything with Post+, Tumblr’s controversial paid subscription product. But you can ironically blaze (lol) a post. So far, it seems like most Tumblrites are just using the feature to post messages, like this person who spent real money to get people to see the first few paragraphs of the hit fan fiction work “My immortal”. But a payment is a payment, so who cares?
In the past year alone, Tumblr has attempted to leverage ad-free paid browsing (sponsored posts don’t appear for these users), a subscription product, and a tip jar, marking some of the first paid features on the long-running blogging site. And despite nostalgic stares at Tumblr from outlets like The New Yorker and The Atlantic, the platform has failed to grow its user base significantly since its fateful porn ban in late 2018. .
According to analytics firm Similarweb, Tumblr hasn’t seen a significant increase in monthly visits globally across mobile and desktop since last summer. During this period, the highest number of monthly visits was around 327 million in July 2021, while the lowest number of monthly visits was 270 million in February 2022. In July 2018, before the ban of pornography, Tumblr had nearly 600,000 hits in a month. .
On the mobile app, Tumblr hasn’t seen much of an increase in downloads either. App analytics firm SensorTower told TechCrunch that adoption of Tumblr’s mobile app has also been trending down year over year. In 2021, the app saw 8.8 million installs, down 25% year-over-year from 11.8 million in 2020.