Since I may have created some confusion over how I feel about Tumblr’s ads: I applaud Tumblr’s attempt at bringing in some more revenue, and I apologize for misunderstanding William Wright's response earlier.
Paid themes and highlighted posts are some of my favorite attempts by any service in a long time, but perhaps those simply aren’t enough. I love Tumblr and I want it to thrive. Ads aren’t always the most exhilarating option, but the internet’s culture still leans towards not paying for anything ever nohow no way shut up uh uh no. It’s a frustrating rock and a hard place.
The ads are just fine, too. Some folks say they’ve seen ads in the dashboard’s radar for a while, but this might be the first animated GIF ad (it’s the first one I remember seeing, regardless). Still, it feels pretty unobtrusive; like the one-ad-in-the-sidebar thing that’s catching on with a lot of websites. I’ve even found some great stuff by clicking on ads, though as a 32 year old male I can safely say I’m all stocked up on pushup bras.
Just think, though: they could’ve replaced the post buttons with a “pin the tail on the monkey!” banner ad, and you’d have to do at least a decent job before you get to post anything.
There are a lot of smart people working at Tumblr and a lot of stellar people who use it. There truly is something special here, so whatever the solution is, I just hope it works for everyone who cares.