Tumblr Helps Mobile Developers Distribute Content with In-App Sharing

Tumblr is going to give mobile app developers a new content distribution channel, allowing them to share their creations on the platform.

Simon Khalaf, former chief executive (CEO) of mobile analytics platform Flurry and senior vice president of publishing products at Yahoo, debuted a new feature, In-App Sharing, during his keynote at the company’s first-ever mobile developer conference in New York City Wednesday. When a user looks at a Tumblr post, he or she will see an Install button allowing them to download other mobile apps. In-App Sharing is supported by Yahoo-owned Flurry, so app developers will be able to see engagement on content shared by their users, including how many times it has been liked, reblogged and clicked. 

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“All of a sudden, you get traffic and consumers. You are no longer contributing without getting anything back. And that’s the beauty,” Khalaf said during his presentation, adding that it’s “an exciting opportunity for app developers.”

In-App Sharing is Yahoo’s response to the transforming mobile landscape where media consumption, either articles read in mobile browser or video consumed in the feeds, constitutes the majority of time spent in social apps. In the second quarter of 2015, daily media consumption in apps, including social and messaging, reached 96 minutes per U.S. consumer, 108 percent up from the same period a year prior, according to Khalaf.

Such growth in entertainment on mobile is a big trend that traditional media companies should keep an eye on, proving that content is king, Khalaf explained. “Content is king again. And what’s even more phenomenal is that people are paying for content. We project that in 2015, payment for content will be more than advertising,” he said. “When content goes into mobile apps, it becomes a commodity. But the issue is, how do we discover that content?”

Khalaf continued that users don’t typically search for content on mobile, making discovery different from desktop.

“In the world of mobile, SEO, SEM and blue links are gone because people are not using browsers. In the mobile space, users and their communities have become the distribution channel for content themselves [through sharing],” he said. 

David Karp, CEO of Tumblr, agreed that mobile offers new ways for content discovery. According to him, most of Tumblr’s traffic used to come from Google organic search. But now, the platform’s traffic is mainly from social networks.

“These days, the traffic we get from Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat, et cetera, far overshadows all the traffic we get from organic search,” Karp said. “I’m excited about the ecosystem where we create mobile apps to help content distribution. But I think we just scratched the surface of what is possible. There’s more for us to do.”

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