Tumblr is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter with an attempt to attract UK brands, and make more money from the site.
The five-year-old micro-blogging platform, which allows users to post images and video, has signed up We Are Social, Poke, AKQA and Bartle Bogle Hegarty as its first UK agency partners.
The partnership will give them access to Tumblr data and specialist training in a similar manner to Facebook’s Preferred Developer programme. It has signed up 12 agencies globally.
Tumblr, which receives 16.8bn page views monthly and hosts 80.5m blogs, does not have a UK operation. The agency tie-ups are intended to help them better use the platform for clients and boost creativity.
Foster’s, Topshop and Pringle of Scotland are among the few UK brands using Tumblr to post content, with many preferring Facebook and Twitter for their social-media advertising and brand building.
US brands have been quicker to use the format, with eBay, Coca-Cola and Disney among those advertising on the site.
Tumblr recently started running paid-for campaigns for brands, having unveiled an ad format for users’ dashboards in May. In June, Adidas became the first brand to use the format, promoting a football blog associated with its sponsorship of Euro 2012.
According to Robin Grant, global managing director of We Are Social, Tumblr allows brands to "create a much more branded experience".
"Tumblr offers something different to Facebook and Twitter in that its users skew a lot younger than other social networks and their behaviour is very different. They curate more content than they create, giving brands the chance to get very rich content shared widely, assuming they make it appealing enough for their followers," he said.
Nick Farnhill, founder and partner at Poke, said: "Tumblr is a perfect example of the visual social web and with over 16 billion page views a month, there's energetic and passionate communities of interests that brands can, sensitively, contribute relevant content to and engage with."
He added: "It's a rapid and importantly, 'rich' way to keep any audience very much up to date and Tumblr are now offering brands a greater ability to achieve this in more bespoke ways."
Toby Barnes, product strategy director at AKQA said: "At AKQA we love Tumblr.
"It’s a great place for us to play, share content, and have fun but as serious platform for our clients it gives us the control, flexibility, and analysis we need to continue to produce award-winning, innovative, creative new work," he said.
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