Home Top Trends of 2010: The Rise of Tumblr, Posterous & Light Blogging

Top Trends of 2010: The Rise of Tumblr, Posterous & Light Blogging

One of the big themes of 2010 has been the increased simplicity of posting content to the Web. Whether it’s Facebooking with your family, tweeting with your online buddies, or sharing a favorite video, photo or quote on Tumblr. All of these activities have given millions of people an opportunity to add their voice to the Web.

Tumblr and similar services are sometimes termed light blogging, as they enable people to publish ‘found’ things very quickly and at the click of a button. Tumblr is the market leader amongst such tools, followed by Posterous, Soup.io, Noovo and others. Tumblr has grown the most in recent times, but Posterous has fought hard. Let’s review the fast-moving and often entertaining moves in this market over 2010.

ReadWriteWeb’s 2010 In Review:

Tumblr has always been a step ahead, as it launched back in April 2007 whereas Posterous didn’t launch until June 2008. In December last year, Tumblr announced a couple of innovations that kick-started 2010: real-time alerts and enabling Twitter clients to support Tumblr.

Posterous Gets Aggressive, Takes on Tumblr & Others

Tumblr may have gotten off to a better start in 2010, but Posterous soon upped the ante with new features.

In April, Posterous announced that it was shedding its minimalist origins and essentially began competing on feature set with Tumblr. When it launched, the only way to post a story to Posterous was by email. However in April 2010, Posterous added a full rich text editor and put more emphasis on sharing media files. It also hooked into Facebook’s OpenGraph API and added ‘like’ buttons.

In June, Posterous embarked on an aggressive marketing push to get Tumblr’s users to switch. It started promoting tools that enabled users to import their content from other products – including from Tumblr. The campaign infamously called out a number of blogging products as “dying platforms.” It was a brazen move by Posterous and entertaining to watch, but ultimately it didn’t succeed. In the final analysis, Tumblr grew the most in 2010.

The main factors in Tumblr’s growth over 2010 have been its first mover advantage, celebrities and big media companies using Tumblr sites, and Tumblr’s ability to socialize its service better than Posterous.

Traditional Media Companies Flock to Tumblr

A good example of big media flocking to these tools (but mostly Tumblr) in 2010 was National Public Radio (NPR). ReadWriteWeb’s Chris Cameron spoke to NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin in September to find out how the organization was leveraging Tumblr.

“Part of what we do is experiment on different platforms, and it seemed apparent to us that there was a sizable number of NPR fans on Tumblr,” Carvin told us. “It’s less about page views and more about engaging a community that enjoys NPR.”

Carvin explained that NPR is taking a very experimental approach to Tumblr in terms of curating content to share, engaging one-on-one with followers and determining how to voice the blog.

A number of traditional media outlets began to use Tumblr this year, including Newsweek, Life Magazine and Rolling Stone.

Finally, we should also mention that many full blogging platforms added Tumblr and Posterous-like functionality in 2010. For example, in September leading blog platform WordPress.com added subscriptions – reminding our writer Mike Melanson of Tumblr’s “Follow” feature.

Poll: Which Light Blogging Tool Do You Use?

Overall, it was a great year for Tumblr in terms of its user growth and uptake from traditional media companies. We commend Posterous too for its excellent features and brave marketing moves (many of the ReadWriteWeb team use Posterous – although personally I use one of the underdogs, Soup.io).

2010 was a year in which light blogging tools showed their worth as easy, fun ways for people to share content and connect with others.

We ran this poll in September 2009, but it’s time for an update. Let us know which light blogging tool you use and, if you like, leave a comment explaining why.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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