Tumblr is introducing a new feature today that lets its users pay a dollar in order to have their post featured on the Tumblr Dashboard. The option is called “Highlights,” and it’s now available right from the new post page on Tumblr. With Highlights, you can choose a special icon that will appear next to the post along with an optional message that points out why the post is important.
“Every now and then, a post comes along that’s meant for big things. It could be pulling the wraps off your new project, promoting your next show, raising awareness for a cause, or just sharing a truly incredible photo,” wrote Tumblr’s David Karp on the company blog this morning.
In typical Tumblr cutesy style, the Highlights option includes six icons: a lightning bolt, caution sign, heart, megaphone, unicorn (!) or cheeseburger (uh…what?).
There are also dozen of messages to choose from, like “help!,” “urgent!,” “watch this!,” “cool!,” etc. Some messages pertain to events (“save the date!”) while others refer to news (“today only”), products (“buy this!”) or even questions (“answer this!”).
In addition to being marked and annotated, the highlighted post is slightly larger and has bigger font, too.
Before publishing a post with a Highlight, you’ll be prompted to fill in your credit card info or make the $1.00 payment via PayPal. Whether or not the option really brings in more eyeballs and clickthroughs remains to be seen, especially since the low barrier to entry could see the feature used so regularly that Tumblr users end up with Highlight-blindness.
But for now, the trick is working. (Oh hey, BuzzFeed has an awesome new iPad app? Brb).
Tumblr is a re-envisioning of tumblelogging, a subset of blogging that uses quick, mixed-media posts. The service hopes to do for the tumblelog what services like LiveJournal and Blogger did for the blog. The difference is that its extreme simplicity will make luring users a far easier task than acquiring users for traditional weblogging. Anytime a user sees something interesting online, they can click a quick “Share on Tumblr” bookmarklet that then tumbles the snippet directly. The result is...