April 23, 2013, 5:11 PM

Tumblr tests mobile ads

Consumers using the microblogging platform’s apps will see ads interspersed with blogs.

Lead Photo

Following the lead of like-minded social sharing networks Twitter and Facebook, microblogging platform and social network Tumblr has launched ads in its mobile apps.

“It’s been almost a year since our first sponsored post appeared in Tumblr Radar,” Lee Brown, vice president of sales at Tumblr, writes in the Tumblr staff blog. “Since then, our fashion, entertainment and brand partners have created some truly delightful blogs and racked up tens of millions of notes on their posts. We’re incredibly proud of our partners’ creativity and have been constantly amazed by how well these creations can fit into our dashboards. So today we’re bringing these posts over to our mobile apps. It works very simply: Every now and then you’ll see posts from our partners as you scroll through your mobile dashboard.”Tumblr Radar is a Tumblr advertising product available to sponsors approved by Tumblr in which advertisers create ads for the desktop version of Tumblr.

A scroll through the Apple iOS Tumblr app shows an ad for consumer packaged goods manufacturer SC Johnson’s Windex Multi-Surface window cleaning product. The ad shows a model standing on a catwalk with a futuristic glass shell around her head, and several bottles of Windex spritzing away at the contraption.

Tumblr did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

Mobile ads are bringing in cash for many social networks that have already tried their hand at it. Facebook, for example, said in its Q4 2012 quarterly filing that 23% of its advertising revenue in the fourth quarter stemmed from mobile ads, up from 14% in the third quarter. Mobile ad revenue increased 101% from $152 million in the third quarter to $306 million in Q4.

A recent report from IDC says strong growth in mobile advertising spending in the U.S. continues, even if annual growth rates continue to decline. The market grew by 88% in 2012 (down from 125% in 2011) to a total of $4.5 billion (up from $2.4 billion in 2011). Mobile market share within all digital advertising reached 11% in 2012, up from 7% in 2011. For 2013, IDC expects a growth rate of 55–65%, with spending coming in around $7 billion for the U.S.

Both Twitter and Facebook rolled out mobile ads last year.

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