Tumblr Raises $85M Amidst Blog Industry Shift

Blogging can be seen as an extension of a person’s being–a place to see the other side of a person.  I have a friend who seems so bubbly and perky when we hang out but if you read her blog posts, most of them are poems; they’re so dark and deep that you wouldn’t believe they came from her.  But with social networks hogging all the limelight, blog sites aren’t getting the attention they used to.  And while the face of blogging continues to change with each iteration of the web, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Blog site Tumblr announced that it raised $85 million in a round of funding led by Facebook and Groupon investor Greylock Partners and Twitter-investor Insight Venture Partners, joined by The Chernin Group, Sir Richard Branson and returning investor partners Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures, and Sequoia Capital.

“This additional capital allows us to continue to scale our business and give real focus to the further development of Tumblr,” said Tumblr founder David Karp in an email.

Tumblr was founded in 2007 by Karp, then a 20 year-old high school dropout, with a simple goal of simplifying the blogging process.  The name Tumblr came from tumbledog which is a short-form mixed-media.  Tumblr gets its revenue from their customizable Web themes that range from $9 to $49.  The revenue is shared by Tumblr to Web theme designers, creating an ecosystem all its own.

While Tumblr represents the new era in web logging, WordPress just released version 2.9 of the WordPress for iOS app, improving its mobile offering.  Version 2.9 features a feature-rich Content Editor that allows users to easily format text, make bulleted lists, create links, and do all kinds of other fancy stuff.  There’s also full-screen editing so users can view more text at a time while posting on the go.  And Reading Made Easy is a feature that allows users to keep track of their favorite blogs in one place.

Posterous, one of Tumblr’s biggest competitors, recently shed their blogging cloak all together to become more of a social network site, dubbing themselves Posterous Spaces to emphasize on sharing, social networking and content discovery.  The revamped blogging site features a Reader Tab with feeds shared by individuals the user is following.  The dashboard also features Popular items, which gives access to top feeds.  There’s also an Activity section, with real-time activities across Spaces admin.  Meanwhile the iPhone app delivers all of Posterous’ functionality or the entire new Spaces experience on mobile.