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Yahoo Rolls the Dice With Tumblr Analytics Deal

Yahoo Rolls the Dice With Tumblr Analytics Deal

The moment of truth is nigh for new Tumblr parent Yahoo. It has gone forward with a deal that's likely to attract targeted advertising to the site and now must hold its breath until it finds out whether Tumblr's purist users will stand for it. "Folks on Tumblr like the idea that there are little to no rules on the site and limited advertising," noted digital marketing consultant Gordon Owens.

By Rachelle Dragani E-Commerce Times ECT News Network
09/17/13 9:44 AM PT

Tumblr has teamed up with social analytics company DataSift to provide users with information about consumer engagement and sentiment.

As of Monday, DataSift subscribers gained access to both historic and real-time data about what consumers were posting about their brands in Tumblr's 5.5 billion monthly global interactions.

DataSift already curated information from Facebook and Twitter, as well as comments on Amazon reviews and YouTube videos, helping brands or organizations drive engagement by better understanding their consumers.

The addition of Tumblr to its database means even more valuable information for brands, the company said. After two weeks of monitoring Tumblr, it was able to gain valuable insight into the kinds of posts likely to get the most attention on the site. For instance, posts with visuals were more likely to be reblogged. Also, consumers were more engaged with official brand Tumblr blogs that reposted content from other brands or individuals rather than simply running their own.

More Data, More Ads

The added consumer insight from DataSift could help Tumblr attract advertisers that want to post more targeted and effective ads, said Gordon Owens, digital marketing consultant at GO Digital WSI.

"From a site management perspective, the more information you can get, the better," he told the E-Commerce Times. "It helps you fill in questions about who your audience is, and marketers want to be able to market things to people who are interested in them."

That newly generated revenue stream would be a boost for Yahoo, which acquired Tumblr in a US$1.1 billion deal earlier this year, said Internet marketing expert Brian Carter.

"Tumblr's deal with DataSift is actually an encouraging move for Yahoo fans," he told the E-Commerce Times. "It means that Tumblr is maturing as a real Web property that now will be more useful to marketers. It means that Yahoo has begun to reassert its traditional strength in hosting content but in a much more modern way."

Alienating Tumblr-ers?

On the day of the acquisition, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer promised the company "wouldn't screw it up," and Tumblr assured users the platform wouldn't change, but a fair amount of grumbling ensued.

In order to keep its users from tumbling out the door, the company must tread lightly with advertising, said Owens, making sure that both marketers and Tumblr users have freedom to do what they want on the site.

"Folks on Tumblr like the idea that there are little to no rules on the site and limited advertising," Owens noted. "When a deal like this starts mixing in targeted advertising, there are going to be more controls in place, and Tumblr users may feel they're not free to do what they want, unchecked."

Still, it's unlikely Tumblr will see a mass exodus following this news, said Carter.

"Some of them may leave for other content options, but there's nothing quite like Tumblr," he pointed out. "Many may stay, just as Facebook users have stayed despite the social media giant's frequent interface and feature changes."


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