When last we heard from Richard Tong, Tumblr’s beleaguered fashion director was exiting his role as an ambassador to fashion brands for something much more “entrepreneurial.” A source pointed us to Mr. Tong’s LinkedIn page, which he updated this month, listing himself as the founder of a startup called Fohr Card. The company’s website is password-protected, noting only that it’s “A Stairbear Production by Rich Tong, James Nord and Holly Star.” Read More
Taking a Tumble
Perfect 10, the company behind a nudie magazine and website celebrating the standout examples of the unenhanced female form, has filed a lawsuit against Tumblr for copyright violations. In a complaint filed in the Southern District of New York on Friday, Perfect 10 alleges that Tumblr failed to respond to repeated requests for takedowns and–perhaps, more damningly–that “Tumblr employees have posted infringing content to Tumblr’s servers to help start the business.”
A few weeks ago, Tumblr founder David Karp rather abruptly announced that he was reversing his long-held anti-advertising stance and opening Tumblr Radar up for sponsorship. According to an email from Tumblr communications rep Katherine Barna, the ad shop is officially open for business.
“We’re very excited to announce that Tumblr’s first official Sponsor products are now available to advertisers!” Ms. Barna wrote, directing folks to a new page for potential marketers. “We are constantly delighted by the creative ways that brands use Tumblr, and are confident that the world’s greatest marketers and media companies will use these products to set a new bar for creative advertising on the web.” Mr. Karp seemed a little more contemptuous towards advertisers at the Decoded Fashion conference earlier this week. But, like, in a friendly way, of course! Read More
On Tumblr’s staff blog today, the company kicked off New York Fashion Week by announcing a partnership with Milk Studios to cover the event . The post was written was Matt Hackett, Tumblr’s former VP of engineering who switched over to head of brand strategy & marketing in September. Milk Studios is a photography studio and conglomerate of “seven companies that stand at the intersection of fashion, photography, art, and film.”
As part of the partnership, Milk Studios put together a team of five “local emerging voices in fashion from Tumblr to cover the events,” to cover the events. Tumblr has set up a home base for all Fashion Week coverage using an NYFW tag, or you can follow these five bloggers on their individual Tumblrs: Alex, Bryant, Chloe, Lucie and Miguel. Katherine Barna, Tumblr’s head of communications, told Betabeat by phone that this is the third season in a row Tumblr is partnering with Milk Studios.
Betabeat was the first to break the news that during New York Fashion Week in September at least a couple fashion brands were extremely distraught over the way Tumblr handled attempts to monetize the semi-annual event. At the time, a proposal was leaked detailing Tumblr’s plans to sell ads and exposure to willing brands: Read More
Reuters social media editor Anthony “SoupSoup” DeRosa is an avid Tumblr user who recently walked away from the platform in frustration after one too many problems with the service. He published a long piece today about the ways in which Tumblr is working to manage its massive growth and got an interview with Tumblr founder David Karp.
As has been the case in Tumblr’s dealing with fallout from Rich Tong’s fashion week proposal and conflicts with the developer behind the popular extension Missing e, Mr. Karp offered no apologies for the way his company was coping with its growing pains. Read More
Yesterday Betabeat broke the news that Tumblr fashion director Rich Tong was hoping to get big brands to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for product placement and branded content from Tumblr’s “select bloggers”.
In essence, Tumblr was acting like a talent agency, promising work from a group of writers who use their platform. The proposal offered 15 posts with the “content to be agreed upon prior to the start of the week”. For $10,000 the brands could get some face time with the bloggers at a private party and for a negotiable price brands could get product placement from all 20 select bloggers.
Betabeat has learned however, that Tumblr had no formal contract with any of these bloggers. In fact, the bloggers Betabeat spoke with had no idea their services were being promised, no clue about the terms of the proposal and were blissfully ignorant that Tumblr was asking to be paid hefty sums for their work. Read More
Earlier this year Tumblr was the toast of fashion week. The company’s fashion director, Rich Tong, negotiated access for influential Tumblr users to cover swanky events. The bloggers, once the red headed step children of Fashion Week, got access beyond their wildest dreams. The brands and designers got their shows covered on a hip social Read More
Yesterday Betabeat wrote a post about some of the frustrations folks in the fashion industry have been venting about Tumblr–on their personal Tumblrs of course. Well, apparently, the story struck a nerve. Raman Kia, the Head of Digital Marketing at Starworks Group, laid things out in a post titled Exposed: The Actual Problem With Tumblr: Read More
Tumblr is reportedly close to raising a $75 to $100 million round for infrastructure and scaling, prompting many jokes about bubbles and the valuation-to-revenue gap. Tumblr CEO David Karp has said he is adamantly opposed to putting ads on the site, and the company’s revenue streams–custom themes that cost users a one-time fee of Read More