The little blog that could: Did Tumblr profit from a natural disaster?
Tumblr, the photo blog that houses some of the most obscure and bizarre collections of pixels on the web, this week posted a record-breaking monthly page view figure. And by record-breaking, we mean 20 billion. Which is a lot. Thing is, we have a secret theory about how this has happened…
“This started pretty modestly as something I wanted for myself,” says Tumblr’s founder David Karp. “I remember very vividly that moment where I was like, it wouldn’t be much more work to add a column to the database and maybe make it something other people can use.”
That little bit of extra elbow greece has now paid off, with the site boasting some 79 million different user-run blogs, from the artistic to the bizarre. But here’s the thing: last month Tumblr picked up 13 million page views, and this month it’s hit 20 billion.
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For those unsure, that’s an increase of 7 billion, which is rather a lot. It’s such a big increase that we reckon there must be a reason behind it. And that reason may just be the weather.
During the blackouts that happened on the east coast of America last week, Gawker Media used Tumblr to post whilst its servers were underwater. We’re not suggesting that all 7 billion extra page views came from this, but when you’ve got traffic that would otherwise go to Gizmodo, Kotaku, io9 an Lifehacker coming in through your front door, you’re bound to notice the difference.
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We’ve asked Tumblr if this is the case, but have yet to hear back. If we’re right though, we doubt the site will be too inclined to confirm as such – claiming business success off the back of a natural disaster would probably be in quite poor taste, after all – even if it is just a happy accident.