Facebook and Twitter gear up for Tumblr challenge

A fresh challenger for the social media crown has emerged in the form of Tumblr, a New York based blogging service which aims to bring social media orthodoxy tumbling down.

Though a relative minnow when viewed against the goliaths of Facebook, which counts 500 million registered users and Twitter, which recently celebrated reaching two billion tweets per month, the service is expanding fast and now counts 6.6 million users.

The American press are beginning to view the service as a third strand in this triumvirate of communications media with Newsweek, Rolling Stone and the Huffington Post all signing up to engage their readers in conversation.

Described as the space “inbetween Twitter and Facebook” the site allows users to upload images, video, audio and quotes to their pages by emphasising the types of graphic content which can’t be reproduced on rival formats.

Users can then follow others whose posts become visible in a live “stream”, these snippets can then be “liked” by clicking on a heart or “reblogged” to the users own followers.

A key difference is that the volume of followers is not given, an attempt to boost the “community” feel of the site which values commentary above simple links to outside sites.

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