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Tumblr: Dark horse of Social TV?

Tumblr is used as a social TV companion, according to research, even beating Twitter for volume around some selected TV shows.


While more creative and visual than some other social networks, Tumblr isn’t regularly touted as a key player in the social TV arena. New research by Tumblr and social intelligence platform Pulsar has revealed that the network does display useful levels of engagement for TV content and advertisers.

The research represents a short selection of TV shows but compared the levels of engagement across both Twitter and Tumblr around the TV shows, finding that the overall interactions were much higher on Tumblr.

According to the research, there were 7.3 million posts on Tumblr (including reblogs) in the period studied, compared with 3.1 million posts (and retweets) on Twitter.

The volume of posts and interactions is significantly higher but what may be interesting to TV studios and advertisers is the extended period at which people discuss TV content on Tumblr versus Twitter which remains very much real-time. Twitter is still the leader of the conversation in the hour that the shows air (621k posts vs. Tumblr’s 91k posts) but as soon as the shows finish, Twitter activity falls sharply. On Tumblr conversation grows as the research revealed that one hour after airtime there is 31% more activity than when the show is live.

For any fans of cult shows such as Game of Thrones this may make sense as it would be Tumblr that you turn to in the days after airing that you turn to for extra comment, gifs about the content and creative discussions that go beyond instant reactions. Indeed 71% of Tumblr TV interactions are about storytelling, content remixing or creativity, according to the research.

It also feeds into the trend for consuming content later and on demand and being seen as less real-time plays into Tumblr’s hands well.

An interesting final note in the research aims to show how interlinked social networks can be, as Tumblr is also the most shared platform on Twitter. It’s the biggest platform from which the TV content is shared on Twitter, higher than that of YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.


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