Tumblr has toyed with adverts a time or two since it was bought by Yahoo in 2013, and now it’s getting serious.
The blog platform announced in its staff blog on Wednesday that it is adding an ad network to its Creatrs program. Launched early last year, Creatrs connected Tumblr users with brands which might want to license said users’ work. Now the program is going to be expanded with paid ads.
“This was a long time coming, and will be one of the biggest projects we’ve ever launched at Tumblr,” wrote Tumblr founder David Karp on his blog. “It’s been a busy summer—a new GIF maker, live video, new messaging stuff—and there’s a whole lot more on the way. Next up: getting you paid for your work.”
Details are still scarce, but Tumblr did indicate that this was optional, saying in the announcement that “you can turn off on-blog advertising in settings if you’re not comfortable with it.”
And yes, I can confirm from my Tumblr account that this is opt-out. I just checked the settings page, and unckecked the required box.
Curiously, the FAQ makes it clear that Tumblr has not worked out the payment terms for the ads, and that when the option is available users will need to register for the program if they want to be paid.
In other words, Tumblr is set to monetize its network of over 306 million blogs from 65 million users whether those users want to or not. WordPress has a similar policy for the blogs it hosts. Any user who doesn’t want the ads has to pay to keep them off that user’s WordPress blog.