Tumblr, Foursquare Execs Map Out New Directions, Tools for Brands

Senior executives from Tumblr and Foursquare headlined the first day of Gnip’s Big Boulder Conference on “social data” on Thursday, and while they didn’t have much to say about the news that’s put their companies in the headlines in the past few months, they did lay out what products their companies are betting on for the future.

Big Boulder is an annual invitation-only gathering Gnip hosts in its hometown of Boulder, CO, for companies at the intersection of social media and big data. Gnip gathers social media content, like every public post made in Twitter’s history, and packages it for clients. The company says it compiles three billion public social media actions a day from Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media sites.

The raw numbers show Gnip is on to something big, and it was able to score an impressive guest list for its party. Along with Tumblr and Foursquare, executives from Facebook and Twitter were scheduled to speak Friday morning in fireside chat-style conversations.

Here are some notes from the first day.

Tumblr cashes in: Tumblr’s status as a leading social media site was confirmed last month when Yahoo announced it would buy the company for $1.1 billion and then immediately pledged “not to screw it up.”

The acquisition was an unavoidable topic during Tumblr’s part of the program, which featured VP of product and engineering Derek Gottfrid and Danielle Strle, its director of product and partnerships.

Gottfrid didn’t offer any new revelations about the deal, but he seemed confident the plan to keep Tumblr largely autonomous while giving it access to Yahoo’s financial clout will work to Tumblr’s benefit.

“Our goal is to be independent of Yahoo for the most part, and obviously there are a lot of resources that will help us move faster,” Gottfrid said. But executives on both sides know Tumblr one day will have to contribute to Yahoo’s bottom line.

“They really are committed to making sure Tumblr’s product contributes in a meaningful way to Yahoo’s business,” Gottfrid said.

Tumblr began developing an advertising platform last year, and that will continue, Gottfrid said. But advertising through Tumblr won’t be … Next Page »

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