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Tumblr Launches New Subscription, Tumblr Post+, For Creators to Monetize Content

  • Nadine Ghiran - SUBTA
  • Jul 28, 2021
  • 4 minute read

Tumblr is the latest social media network to launch a subscription service for its users. The microblogging platform recently released a beta version of Tumblr Post+, a tool that allows users to choose and monetize their content with a simple check of a box, indicating that a post is for paying subscribers only.

The project reflects the company’s leadership’s desire to explore “new ways to generate profit by creating features that appeal to [Tumblr’s] now younger demographic,” according to TechCrunch. 

Read on to learn more about how Tumblr’s innovative content-monetization tool aims to account for a shifting audience and appeal to the younger generation.

Supporting Small Creators With Subscription

Tumblr is a niche-centric platform. It allows creators to share whatever they want with content ranging from GIFs and jokes to deep, meaningful storytelling and posts.

Post+ is Tumblr’s new way of allowing creators to monetize their content. The subscription service allows creators to pick how much their content should cost through three pricing tiers: $3.99/month, $5.99/month or $9.99/month and Tumblr will charge 5% of a creator’s sales.

Content creation can now be a full-time job, and social networks — like Tumblr —  are adjusting their business model accordingly. Twitter recently launched its “Super Follows” feature and YouTube developed a new tipping system called “Super Thanks.” 

While Twitter’s feature requires a certain amount of fame and followers, Tumblr’s Post+ is open to all bloggers on the platform. 

“Not reserved only for professionals, or those with 10K followers or higher, Tumblr’s Post+ will push the boundaries of what’s considered money-making content on the internet,” a Tumblr spokesperson said. “Shitposters, memelords, artists, fan fiction writers, all of the above and everyone in between will be able to create content while building their community of supporters, and getting paid with Post+.”

Tumblr’s lack of restrictions could increase the company’s acquisition rates in the near future since other social media platforms do not offer that kind of freedom.

Closely Monitoring Your Content

Freedom is great on social media as long as users understand that there’s a certain line they cannot cross. Three years ago, Tumblr learned that lesson the hard way. The platform featured a lot of sexually explicit content at the time, including pornography. That year (2018), Tumblr had to ban all of its adult material after child pornography was found despite the company’s filtering technology. 

The app was eventually removed from the App Store, resulting in a 29% decline of monthly page views. Verizon — which inherited Tumblr when it purchased Yahoo in 2017 — sold Tumblr to Automattic for less than $3 million in 2019, according to Axios’ Business Editor Dan Primack. Yahoo had originally bought out the platform for a little over $1 billion in 2013

Under new ownership, Tumblr has grown to nearly 530 million total active blogs since 2019 and is focusing its attention on the larger Gen Z demographic its platform has attracted.

One of the reasons users love Tumblr is that it provides autonomy. 

“Tumblr is my favourite social media site because this place is literally uninhabitable for celebrities,” says threecheersmaka in a text post with over 75,000 notes (a combination of reblogs and likes). “No verification system, no algorithm that boosts their posts, it’s a completely lawless wasteland for them.”

Post+ risks hindering that autonomy and disappointing users by creating a hierarchy of content creators. While the subscription service will likely generate extra revenue for Tumblr and prioritize the support of small creators, it’s possible that Post+ won’t last very long if a majority of the platform’s users feel betrayed by the lack of freedom.

Paying Attention to Shifts in Age Demographics

The adoption of the subscription model was accelerated by the pandemic as consumers gravitated toward convenience. Gen Zers also expect convenience, but with the addition of instant gratification, according to eMarketer.

Additionally, Gen Zers “are reluctant to commit to a new product (or movie) without the opportunity to sample it first,” according to Unidays. “Monthly subscription boxes indulge this desire with their ‘try before you buy’ approach.”

While Tumblr was widely used by the Millennial generation in the past, its demographic has shifted toward a much younger audience. Tumblr’s data shows that nearly 50% of its users are Gen Zers and that they are the most active generation on the platform.

Subscription brands are readily adjusting their business model to fit the needs of their market — and Tumblr is taking note. Post+ will provide its users with payment for content creation and generate a new revenue stream for the platform.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tumblr recently launched Post+, a new subscription service allowing users to monetize their content.
  • Tumblr faced scrutiny when child pornography fell through the cracks of its filtering software, resulting in a 29% decrease of monthly page views.
  • The platform is adapting to the shift in consumer behaviors and is focused on its large Gen Z demographic.

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