Tumblr to monetize blogs, give money back to users

Credit: flickr/jessaax

If you weren't a fan of those audio ads Tumblr introduced recently, you are going to love this.

Blogging site Tumblr is introducing ads on its more than 300 million blogs. Some users surely won't be happy with the change, but since Tumblr is planning to share revenue with its bloggers, others won't mind so much. And there supposedly will be an option to turn off ads on individual blogs. So what do we know about these ads? And when do users start to benefit? 

In IT Blogwatch, we show you the money. 

Need the very basic details? Duncan Riley gives us the background:

Tumblr has finally decided...to monetize its...blogging network by introducing ads on all blogs hosted by the service.
...
The announcement...was spun by the service as a way for users to make money, with Tumblr offering to share ad revenue made...back to the blogs creator.

Money for the blog creator sounds great. People like money. But Tumblr is a little light on the details. Trevor Mogg fills in what he can:

It’s not clear what form the ads will take, though it seems likely they’ll show up natively among your posts...There’s no word on the revenue split either [but] Tumblr promises [more information] is coming soon.
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Ads have for...years been appearing on a user’s dashboard page...This latest move, however, has the potential to take ads to a much wider audience...mak[ing] the company a whole lot more money, something sure to delight Verizon, which recently announced its plan to acquire parent company Yahoo for $5 billion.

Not a whole lot to go on there. Marioxy Betancourt reiterates, and adds one more detail:

Those who want to get paid for their work in the blogging site will need to be registered with the company...Tumblr...is still figuring out details about the whole idea of remunerating users for their content [but] as soon as the team finalizes...details, they will be publicly released.

But is there any precedent here that we can look to? There is one, but again, we don't know a whole lot. Shawn Price explains:

Tumblr...will likely give bloggers the ability to opt out and advertisers the ability to connect with bloggers, like in the site's Creatr program.
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The blogging site has failed to meet sales goals and was recently valued at $0 by analysts.

I am no financial expert, but that seems like a pretty disappointing valuation. Chris Foxx agrees, and offers us some background on other advertising efforts on the site:

Three years have passed since Yahoo bought Tumblr, but the micro-blogging website has not proved to be the goldmine once hoped...the acquisition is now "effectively worthless." 
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Any increase in advertising...is likely to meet opposition from the site's members...In the last week...Tumblr members have been outraged at new invisible audio adverts that Tumblr appears to be testing.
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The maker of one ad-blocking browser plug-in has already published an update that will "terminate with extreme prejudice the auto-playing audio sidebar ads."
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