Tumblr is joining the ranks with YouTube in using its social network to leverage creators and make them money, and maybe even Michelle Phan famous. Today it launched the Creatrs Network, an agency that will select Tumblr users that are onto something and help them connect with brands.
For Tumblr, this will also become a revenue stream. Now, rather than simply offering brands tools like sponsored posts and entrusting the brands themselves to come up with the ads, Tumblr can connect brands with the people who will make that content, as well. Brands will join the Tumblr Creatrs Network and outline their goals for a given campaign with the team, and the team will present the companies with a hand-picked selection of artists from a pool of 300 Tumblr users who are currently part of the network.
It really takes a lot of the legwork out of finding the next big thing, or person. You can’t just become a Tumblr creator, though. The network will select “high-performing” users. Tumblr also launched an internal network, confusingly also named Creatrs, where the network will act like the talent manager and set users up not just with brands, but “other opportunities like book deals, live events or the chance to teach classes and seminars at universities.”
It will also provide some startup capital and legal assistance, and ensure that creators are getting recognition and cash for their work. Tumblr head of creative strategy David Hayes told Wired:
The idea that Tumblr will power the best advertising campaigns on Tumblr and on Facebook and on Instagram and on YouTube and on display banner campaigns and their websites — it totally makes sense to us. Coming up with a structure that allowed us to do that took a little bit of time.
Tumblr already hosts some powerful stuff, and it’s a huge move to harness the activity on the social network and use it for good. Unlike recent social networks that focus on not selling your content and information, the trend of social networks playing into consumer culture makes more sense. Selling out just got cool.