What Does Creatrs Network Mean for Tumblr’s Future?

After a year-long test, Tumblr launched a program that connects creative talent with brands to create high quality native ad content.


Back in 2010, Tumblr CEO David Karp told the Los Angeles Times the network was pretty opposed to advertising, but he’s since changed his position. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is also a firm believer in the power of native advertising, especially when it comes to Tumblr. However, Tumblr continues to support it’s users and the latest initiative the Creatrs Network, which pairs advertisers with Tumblr’s power users to create high quality native ads.

“We will take a much more aggressive stance, as far as protecting artists’ work,” David Hayes, Tumblr Head of Creative Strategy, told Wired. The network has apparently already been successful, as 300 Tumblr users have split $250,000 during the first year of testing alone.

Despite Karp’s original stance, Tumblr has a robust history of experimenting with native advertising. Even around the time of Yahoo’s acquisition of Tumblr, commentators realized that a big part of the acquisition was to gain access to Tumblr’s bank of creative users.

“Native experiences beat their traditional display counterparts in almost every metric,” Mayer said at a conference in June 2014, and she’s completely right. Native ads provide better shares and impressions, and better follow up by users which could lead to more conversions, especially among Tumblr’s younger user base.

Given its base, Tumblr may be the best place to try a program like this, Hayes told Wired:

We think the creative class is really the next generation that’s going to come up and change the world, and we think we have the largest creative class of any platform.

Revenue sharing with users has become increasingly popular as a method of attracting a creative user base, particularly for new networks. Tumblr’s Creatrs Network isn’t open to everyone just yet, but a program like this could generate a lot of revenue for users, advertisers, and Tumblr, especially if Tumblr is getting a cut of every deal.