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In June, blogging platform Posterous launched an all-out assault on other services, hoping to convince bloggers from WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr to switch over. At the time, the move was considered by some to be overly aggressive, even “preposterous,” but the move appears to be paying off.
Rich Pearson, VP of Marketing at Posterous, said the service has seen a 50 percent jump in new signups since launching the campaign. Although defecting bloggers account for a large piece of the growth, emerging markets like Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia and India are helping the company take off on a global scale.
Pearson said emerging markets are doubling their user numbers every month. “The denominator is so low with these countries that the numbers are a little crazy – some like Brazil are growing by over 1000% month-over-month,” he said. “It’s as if no one ever knew about Posterous in emerging markets prior to July.”
Posterous launched in 2008 as a “microblogging” service, offering a simple, no-frills way to upload photos, links, and brief comments for those who might not want to operate a more comprehensive blog. The company no longer considers itself an abbreviated version of a blog platform, Pearson said. “We actually cringe at the term ‘microblogging.’ It may have described us when we launched, but we offer 80%+ of the functionality of a platform like WordPress and you can [blog] in less than 20% of the time.”
The move toward faster, more agile blogging (sites like Posterous and Tumblr allow users to e-mail their posts) appears to demonstrate a larger trend. Casual bloggers who would otherwise let their sites lapse are getting excited by on-the-go blogging. Many create several, specialized blogs with content targeted to a specific audience of friends, colleagues or family.
As Twitter’s rise to dominance indicates, today brevity commands a premium. Like Twitter, Posterous has experienced some roadblocks in its effort to become a global, real-time platform for information sharing.
Last week Posterous was knocked offline by distributed denial-of-service attacks for the third time this month. Although the company is not yet ready to comment on the attacks – “it’s still pretty fresh,” Pearson said – it’s clear that the repeated hacks have jabbed a massive thorn into the company’s side.
So far, Posterous continues to ride the “simple blogging” wave, growing from about one million daily visitors to six million in the past year. As the platform war continues, one thing’s for sure: we’re changing the way we blog.