As more people “speak visual”—one of our 10 Trends for 2014—Tumblr is capturing significant attention from younger cohorts.

As more people “speak visual”—one of our 10 Trends for 2014—Tumblr is capturing significant attention from younger cohorts. According to Tumblr’s Ari Levine, who spoke about the platform at JWT New York last week, 31 percent of users are Millennials, and they average 17.7 minutes per visit, making it the No. 1 engagement site for this generation. Levine says Millennials have taken to the Yahoo-owned platform in part because of its emphasis on creativity and on exploring and sharing personal passions.

Brands on Tumblr are using graphics, video and how-to infographics that don’t explicitly promote products but rather spark exploration and innovation among viewers, as Levine noted. For instance, Redbull’s Tumblr features tabs like Create and Inspire, which are filled with motivational quotes and original art. Whole Foods’ Tumblr is a magazine, Dark Rye, that showcases food photos and recipes, along with themes like sustainability.

During the World Cup, Hyundai deftly captured the strategy of encouraging creativity when it asked people to explain through art, videos, GIFs, etc., how football/soccer impacts their lives, via its #becausefutbol page. According to Tumblr’s research and as reported in Adweek, users who saw and shared a #becausefutbol post were significantly more likely to associate Hyundai as a World Cup sponsor.

Brands that do Tumblr well are getting a lot of traction on the site. Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer says the average sponsored content is reblogged 10,000 times vs. 14 times for the average post, as MediaPost reports. Younger consumers expect brands to tell stories and to encourage them to share their own, and Tumblr seems like a platform where these narratives can emerge in the  language of visual.

Image credit: cliosports