Tumblr’s Twitter-parody blue checks have actually boosted its revenue

Back in November 2022, Tumblr saw an opportunity in Twitter’s blue-check verification scheme. Parodying the $8 blue check offered by Elon Musk’s Twitter, Tumblr decided to do the same: making “Important Blue Internet Checkmarks” available for a one-time fee of $7.99. It would be an entirely pointless purchase, the company emphasized, but to be “an important person on the internet” it could be worth it.

Turns out, this mockery only worked in Tumblr’s favor. The self-proclaimed joke has led to an uptick in revenue for the social site. According to TechCrunch(Opens in a new tab), the Tumblr app gained $263,000 in consumer spending since the paid verification scheme was launched, which amounts to a 125 percent boost in iOS in-app revenue.

Granted, the app offers other purchases like ad-free browsing paid boosts for posts; the rise in numbers can’t be wholly attributed to the fake blue checks. However, Tumblr users did delight in the news of the fake blue tick, with overwhelmingly positive and amused responses.

Meanwhile, Twitter Blue, the social media company’s paid subscription plan, has an estimated 180,000 subscribers(Opens in a new tab) as of mid-January. But the company is reportedly seeing stagnant subscription numbers; many prominent people and companies — including Tesla, where Musk is CEO — have unsubscribed.

The surge in revenue underscores the renaissance Tumblr is currently enjoying(Opens in a new tab). Resurrected after near obsolescence(Opens in a new tab), the platform is seeing growing popularity in the larger landscape of social media apps. At the time of writing, Tumblr reports 135 million(Opens in a new tab) monthly active users, and it is likely to welcome even more as Twitter’s future remains in flux.

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