Where is social media heading beyond Twitter and Facebook? Twitter is noisy with chatter, and Facebook keeps changing by the minute. But what about the lesser known social sites like Tumblr, Tout, or StumbleUpon? Are they important? Should we be paying attention to these quieter social sites, or should we shrug them off as another attempt to beat the social giants? Our experts say,“ PAY ATTENTION TO THESE SITES!

Over the next three posts, we will be discussing these three social outlets in detail. This post focuses on the rising micro blogging site Tumblr, which has approximately 33,313,876 active users.

What is Tumblr?

Tumblr is a micro blogging website that has taken off in the online community. According to Website Magazine, Tumblr surpassed WordPress in page views and revenues, and large names like NPR and the Rolling Stone created Tumblr blogs to increase their website traffic. Tumblrs’ audience is diverse. The average age of Tumblr users ranges anywhere from 18 to 49, and about 51% of the users are male.

Tumblr has grown 218% from June 2010 to June 2011, while other sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn combined only grew a total of 108%. Tumblr’s large growth rate is partially because it caters to both native and international audiences. In fact, Tumblr supports seven foreign languages including Italian, French, Japanese, German, Turkish, Spanish, Russian, and of course, English. Another reason bloggers prefer Tumblr? Because it has its own Help Robot. You simply type your question to the Help Robot, and he provides you with an answer. This Help feature is perfect for those beginner bloggers.

So why do micro bloggers love Tumblr? Tumblr allows users to post whatever they want. Of course, some people may be slightly crude with their Tumblr pages by posting nude photos and inappropriate art. But these bloggers use Tumblr because there is no flagging. You can literally post what you want to post. Tumblr also encourages bloggers to interact with one another. You can follow bloggers and whenever those you follow blog, it appears on your homepage.  Tumblr is perfect for trial and error blogs as well. So expect several newcomers on the Tumblr pages.

One amazing feature about Tumblr is that they organize Tumblr Meetups around the world including London, Australia, and many other countries abroad. These Meetups are for Tumblr users who want to physically interact with other active users in their area. For example, on August 8, 2012, there will be a Tumblr Meetup at the Bean in Millennium Park for all Chicago users interested. Tumblr also has Meetups for people within certain industries, like Fashion. These Meetups provide users with networking opportunities for personal and professional growth. Although Tumblr does not host the Meetups for liability reasons, they provide Meetup leaders with welcome kits for the guests, leaving the leader in charge of the gathering.

Because Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus dominate the social media space, most business owners forget about Tumblr. However, Tumblr is creeping in and is growing in popularity each month. Tumblr is perfect for attracting new audiences and for interacting with others who share similar interests. Twitter and Facebook are the popular sites, but that doesn’t mean they will reign forever. Maybe in a few years, it’ll be all about Tumblr and its social Meetups.