Tumblr made a quiet announcement today that’s quite a huge shift for its platform: ads. Ads for everyone.
Starting tomorrow, it seems all Tumblr blogs will show the ads. In a neat touch, users can actually choose to make money off of the ads shown on their blogs.
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But a lot is still unclear at this point.
By the wording on Tumblr’s staff post, it seems the feature is opt-out rather than opt-in. You can de-activate the ads in your settings if you’d rather not see them. Granted, that’s still way better than most other social media and websites, where you have no say in the matter.
We have no idea what the ads will actually look like, mind you, but we’d imagine they’d appear natively in your feed – like Facebook or Instagram – rather than on some gaudy sidebar.
The biggest problem is that Tumblr isn’t even sure yet how the ad money will be redistributed:
We’re still working out the details of the partner program but as soon as we have details to share, we’ll make announcements right here on trusty Staff. Just so you know: You won’t be able to make money until you register for the program—which is coming soon.
So, basically, Tumblr is turning on ads for everyone, telling people they can make money off of it, but then not telling them how much or when they can even begin to do so.
Again, that’s still better than other platforms – I sure wish I could make money off of my Instagram photos – but it seems odd Tumblr isn’t just waiting until everything is ready before rolling out the ads.
It’s also worth noting that this change is coming right after Yahoo – which owns Tumblr – was acquired by Verizon. That deal just happened yesterday, but it’s likely been in the works for a while; clearly Verizon is aiming at monetizing all its new properties.