‘Tumblr is a long-term, strategic play for us’

Chitra Narayanan | Updated on March 10, 2018 Published on December 17, 2015

Gurmit Singh, VP and MD, Yahoo India

Increasing engagement on mobile through new and engaging features remains an important priority, says Gurmit Singh, VP and MD, Yahoo India

Yahoo has been going through one reinvention after another to give its dated products a new look. But in its clumsy portfolio, there is one gem that has been growing its user base at a fast pace. Tumblr, with 200 million blogs that publish 80 million posts per day, has high engagement with youth and, according to analysts, is culturally the most relevant product for Yahoo. In India, however, Tumblr is a relatively low profile platform. Gurmit Singh, VP and MD, Yahoo India, shares the company’s vision for the social network it acquired in 2013.

Are we going to see other brands doing a Nescafe on Tumblr?

Brands such as Universal Pictures and Unilever have also leveraged Tumblr as their creative and engagement platform to create stand-out campaigns. At the start of 2015, more than 360 of the world’s top brands not only blogged on Tumblr, but also advertised and spent on the platform. A recent example is Splenda and Yahoo teaming up to give consumers a second helping on the Tumblr, aptly named Sweet Swaps. After this collaborative effort debuted last year, the Splenda brand saw a 900 per cent increase in engagement after running paid media on Tumblr. Syndication on Yahoo helped more than double the campaign's reach.

What is Yahoo doing with Tumblr?

Tumblr is a long-term, strategic play for us. Increasing engagement on mobile through new and engaging features remains an important priority. Earlier in the year, we introduced new discovery consumption and community experiences to Tumblr. GIF search and Tumblr TV made GIFs more immersive and sharable. And AnswerTime brought Q&A to the Tumblr community, where users could interact with their favourite artists, musicians, creatrs and celebrities.

The Creatrs Network, launched at the start of the year, is letting brands find incredible Tumblr artisan bloggers to commission unique content. Right from the launch in Q1, this has seen both interest and traction.

Earlier this year, we launched a new ad format, the Tumblr Sponsored Day. It allows brands to advertise at the top of the Tumblr dashboard for 24 hours. We also enhanced the Sponsored Day visual experience with a big, beautiful banner and extended this ad unit to our mobile experiences, where most of our daily active users engage with us.

We are also focused on ramping up app install ads on Tumblr. With apps comprising 90 per cent of the time spent on mobile, we think there’s a lot of promise, especially for millennials. We’re seeing demand from advertisers as Tumblr’s client base for app install ads grew more than 60 per cent last quarter.

In India, what is the thrust on Tumblr?

In India, Tumblr is still new as a community. However, with the increased mobile, internet and social media usage here, we see great potential for Tumblr here, as do the brands who partner with us.

HUL’s TRESemmé leveraged Tumblr for a social content marketing and native advertising destination that could de-construct red carpet fashion and hairstyles to make this accessible to the aspirational, style-conscious urban Indian woman.

The outcome — the Red Carpet Studio, built for TRESemmé, went on to win the Blue Elephant at the Kyoorius Digital Awards 2015.

Published on December 17, 2015
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