Just over one month ago, Tumblr introduced its first in-stream mobile ads, and today, it's bringing the same ads to its website. The "sponsored posts," as they're called, often take the form of Tumblr-friendly images like GIFs of a scene from The Great Gatsby or an animation of a GE jet engine. The sponsored posts, denoted by animated dollar signs ($) in their top-right corners, have already racked up 10 million likes and reblogs on mobile thus far, Tumblr says. "We have been overwhelmed by the incredibly positive response to our advertising approach — from both Tumblr users and our partners," says Lee Brown, Tumblr's Global Head of Sales. "The engagement rates on the Tumblr Radar and Sponsored Mobile Posts have been spectacular and we have taken this same carefully architected approach to this new web in-dash opportunity."
Tumblr's first web ads will roll out over the next month to all users, and will come from seven pilot partners: Viacom, Ford Motor Company, Universal Pictures, Capital One, AT&T, Denny's and Purina. Users will see up to four sponsored posts per day, as is the case on mobile, Tumblr says.
The news comes one week after Yahoo announced that it would acquire Tumblr for close to $1 billion dollars. Today's ad rollout was likely already part of Tumblr's roadmap, however. Prior to the acquisition, Tumblr had been facing increasing pressure to monetize. One year ago it launched its first "Radar" ads in the web sidebar, which are in hindsight very non-intrusive compared to the company's new ads, which span the width of your news feed and interrupt the stream of posts from blogs you follow.