Tumblr introduced a new ad product Thursday one that enables users to pin their posts to the top of their followers' dashboards for 24 hours, thereby giving their content more exposure.
This is the fourth ad product Tumblr has rolled out since the beginning of the year. In February, Tumblr launched Highlighted Posts, which for $1 (it since doubled to $2) lets users draw attention to posts that appear in followers' dashboards (a.k.a. newsfeeds). Its red labels say things like "Big News!" or "Sale!"
In May, the blog network introduced two ad formats aimed at brands: Radar, a display unit that lets companies advertise their accounts on the right rail of followers' dashboards, and a second unit that lets brands run display ads at the top of Spotlight pages.
For a visual comparison of each ad format, see the screenshot gallery at the bottom of this post.
The newest ad product, Pinned Posts, is a "step up" from Highlighted Posts, Derek Gottfrid, Tumblr's VP of product, tells Mashable. For $5, posts will hover at the top of followers' dashboards for 24 hours. Followers can opt to un-pin those posts at any time.
Unlike Sponsors, Highlighted and Pinned Posts are self-serve: Users simply check a box beneath a post if they want to increase its exposure (see above). Payments can be made by credit card or through PayPal.
Tumblr has yet to introduce an analytics dashboard, so users who pay for Highlighted and Pinned Posts know little about how and to what extent the additional exposure helps them. Gottfrid says Highlighted Posts have performed "fairly well" to date, but declined to offer any further information.
By Thursday afternoon, Pinned Posts had been rolled out to 10% of desktop users. The rollout will be completed in 24 hours, and begin appearing on mobile devices "in the near future," says Gottfried. Highlighted Posts already appear in Tumblr's mobile website and apps.
Gottfrid stressed the need for Tumblr to deliver simple advertising that is integrated into its "three basic atomic units": followers, blogs and posts. "We're not interested in introducing a fourth unit that doesn't feel native," he said. "We think our posts are amazing way to tell stories; we just want to accelerate awareness around them."