An interview with T.R. Newcomb of Tumblr.
While this interview centered around engaging the millennial generation, T.R. Newcomb also opened up about challenges and opportunities specific to Tumblr. In his role as head of business development & partnerships, T.R. first highlighted topics with equal potential to be significant challenges and to be unique advantages for Tumblr. However, the latter half of the interview returned to more fundamental questions regarding understanding the millennial generation.
Consumers and brands gravitate toward social platforms that are flexible and allow for creative expression. Tumblr is one of those, though T.R. suggested that a majority of its users do not utilize the product to its full potential. The longevity of content on Tumblr was also mentioned as an advantage, especially when considering that perhaps it’s less about targeting potential customers and more about creating exceptional content that creates affinity. Essentially, engagement can be thought of as creating content that most resonates with people and in turn, marketing becomes more reliant on user generated content.
Another important issue is analyzing the visual data available via Tumblr. With 150 million photos uploaded daily, Tumblr is teeming with visual social data. Still, only half of these photos are tagged, making measurement a unique challenge. This is an especially relevant challenge when considering the consumer behavior of millennials. T.R. only alluded to having potential solutions in the near future to help resolve this issue.
The latter half of the interview then shifted to millennials – how do you define the millennial generation and how does visual social data play a role? To the first question, there was consensus between the audience member asking the question and T.R., that it is not perfectly clear. Furthermore, the many assumptions being made about the millennial generation are still being tested, such as do millennials care about privacy and if so, how much? To the second, visual social data is undoubtedly a characteristic of the millennial generation. However, the social data industry still has work to do in order to measure it. In the meantime, T.R. explained that Tumblr as it continues to evolve, hopes to empower the best content creators. In conclusion, a final takeaway of the interview was the acknowledgement that millennials are maturing with social media and there is a need for social platforms to evolve with them.