Tumblr is now the fastest growing social network as its number of users grew by 120 per cent in the last six months, figures from the Global Web Index reveal.

The blogging platform appeals most to younger audiences, as 70 per cent of its users are between 16 and 34 years old.

So how is the media using Tumblr right now to appeal to these young users?

Here's how five media organisations are getting the news across on the platform:


NBC News has been taking full advantage of Tumblr's options to add multiple images into a single post and create a 'photo set'.

'News sets' illustrate stories through a combination of still images and gifs linking through to news on the main site.

NBC tumblr
Screenshot from the NBC News Tumblr blog.

The team behind the blog also creates gifs from videos and broadcast material to share on Tumblr as stand-alone posts rather than news sets.

The NBC network has set up Tumblr blogs for MSNBC and CNBC, as well as specific programmes such as NBC Nightly News among others.

USA Today

USA Today's social media team has put together a very visual Tumblr blog, sharing news and explaining events primarily through images, videos and infographics.

USA Today alternates between the post formats Tumblr allows, which include, images, quotes, and links, to vary the way stories are presented.

The infographics often offer background on news stories, like this post explaining how lake-effect snow is formed, for example, published in light of the heavy snowfall in Buffalo in November.

In the site's description, the team writes that a good Tumblr blog should "inform and surprise you with the best of the web".

And aside from sharing original material, USA Today also occasionally reblogs interesting posts from other Tumblr users.

Washington Post

Washington Post's Tumblr is equally image-oriented and aims to show its followers "things you should see and know".

The outlet has a number of Tumblr blogs, including one dedicated entirely to graphs.

And as gifs are very popular on Tumblr, there's room to get creative with data visualisation, as the Post has done with this graph showing election votes over time.

The Guardian

Quotes are a specific type of blog post on the platform, with a format that showcases what is said in the quote with an attribution at the bottom written in a smaller size font.

Guardian Tumblr
Screenshot from the Guardian Tumblr blog.

There is no character limit for the attribution section, which means journalists are free to experiment with the way they present text-based stories on the platform.

The Guardian's Tumblr blog makes full use of the feature to share stories, particularly in the Comment is Free section.

The Guardian's data journalism team also has a Tumblr blog to share interesting facts and data visualisations, often as gifs.


NPR has a large network of blogs, including one where users can really 'follow' reporters on their travels and reporting trips, called NPR On The Road.

Journalists on Tumblr should also follow the NPR social media desk blog, where Melody Kramer and Wright Bryan write about experiments and innovation in social media.

Aside from sharing news stories, the network uses Tumblr to offer an insight into the organisation.

Get a glimpse behind the scenes through this blog curated by its current interns, or go through the archives to explore images and audio on this blog.

  • Got a favourite Tumblr blog from a news organisation? Is there a particular format you like or dislike? Tell us in the comments below or on Twitter at @journalismnews.

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