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Tumblr debuts mobile advertising on Android and iOS apps

Tumblr has introduced ads into its mobile feed, adding another revenue source for the popular blogging service.

Advertisers can now pay to promote their posts to those using Tumblr's iOS and Android applications.

"It works very simply," Lee Brown, Tumblr's vice president of sales, wrote in a blog post. "Every now and then you'll see posts from our partners as you scroll through your mobile Dashboard."

The first sponsored post appeared in Tumblr Radar about a year ago, Brown said. Radar showcases a sample of Tumblr's most creative and interesting media, with a focus on sponsors. Since then, the service's fashion, entertainment, and brand partners "have created some truly delightful blogs," racking up tens of millions of notes along the way, according to Brown.

"We're incredibly proud of our partners' creativity and have been constantly amazed by how well these creations can fit into our Dashboards," Brown said. "So today we're bringing these posts over to our mobile apps."

In a March interview with Bloomberg, Tumblr vice president Derek Gottfrid said that the company's mobile numbers had quadrupled in the last six months, making the launch of mobile advertising a financial imperative. But instead of offering the usual display and search ad fare, Tumblr is taking a more creative approach.

The service is asking advertisers to pay to promote blog posts they've created themselves, like Coca-Cola's Tumblr-based campaign. Companies can then measure their marketing impact via the volume of republished posts and "heart" responses from viewers. Messages can also be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Earlier this month, Tumblr cut its editorial "Storyboard" team, which was in charge of curating the content found across its more than 100 million blogs, whilst also revamping its Android app. In March, Tumblr updated its iOS app with improved camera and photo features.

Tumblr's mobile apps are available for iOS in Apple's iTunes Store and on Android via the Google Play store. The blogging site regularly ranks alongside Facebook, Google, and Twitter as one of the Internet's most-trafficked sites.