The site will start selling branded blog posts that show up on user’s profiles as advertisements from next month. Ads will be sold under Tumblr’s “Radar” tool, which highlights the most popular blogs on the site.
Tumblr has secured partnerships with fifteen advertisers including Cartoon Network.
Brands such as IBM, EMI Music and Huggies already have blogs on the site, but up until now have been unable to pay to have their content promoted on the site.
In February, Tumblr launched a ‘highlighted posts’ in North America, a feature that lets users pay to get more visibility for their work.
The recent moves represent a significant turnaround for the company, which has previously stated its ambitions to stay away from paid advertising.
Tumblr attracted 21.8 million unique visitors in March – a million more than February – and over 2.5 times its visitors a year earlier, according to Comscore. It is currently the fourth most popular social network in the UK by unique visitors, attracting over 3.7 million unique visits in March (see graph).
The blogging site launched in 2007 and has gone on to raise a total of $125m (£77.9m) in investment. As of last September the business was valued at $800m (£498.3m)