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Tumblr preps release of ads in mobile apps

The six-year-old blogging company is ready to make its one-year-old ad units viewable on smartphones.

Tumblr for Android

Tumblr will help advertisers reach more of the 165 million people who use the service by soon making sponsored content viewable to its growing mobile audience.

Derek Gottfrid, Tumblr's vice president of product, told Bloomberg that the New York-based company will allow in the first half of this year businesses to promote their Tumblr updates and blog sites on mobile.

Tumblr, which was founded in 2007 and maintains nearly 100 million blog sites, is still new to the advertising game. The company first started selling ads to select clients on a limited basis in March 2012. The startup offers two types of units -- Tumblr Radar for content exposure and Tumblr Spotlight for promoting a brand blog -- to advertisers who can pony up a minimum of $25,000. Tumblr's mobile applications only include the occasional Radar update.

The news that Tumblr is seeking to push its units to a mobile environment isn't a shocker; it's part of the company's goal to become a real business. In January, Gottfrid told CNET that Tumblr was finally ready to handle a large volume of advertisers, and that it would make mobilizing its ad units a priority in 2013.

Tumblr, he said, still enjoys a healthy, growing amount of Web attention, but mobile is now a faster-growing medium for the company. A sizable number of Tumblr signups now happen first through the company's mobile applications, he said.