Tumblr updated both its iOS and Android apps this week with new search and discovery features, making it easier for readers to find and subscribe to your blog. This was a difficult task previously, at least from Tumblr’s mobile apps, as individuals could only search by tag or browse through highlighted trending tags, such as #celebs or #food.

In the updated versions, which are now available for download, people can not only type in keywords to find tags and blogs, but new scrollable sections allow individuals to browse through tags and blogs that are currently trending, giving Tumblr a “real-time” look and feel.

A search now returns a list of blogs for a given tag or query, each of which includes a prominent “Follow” button. Tumblr hopes that this will help to send more readers your way. Prior to the update, a Tumblr tag search would highlight blog posts, but if someone wanted to subscribe, he or she would have to tap again and then locate the small “Follow” button at the top right.

Additionally, there are smaller thumbnails at the top of the new discovery section that are overlaid with the name of the tag they represent. People can flip through these to see the most popular tags on Tumblr. Although small, the thumbnails can still display animated GIFs or a play button that brings the viewer directly to a section that features videos making the rounds on the platform.

While fairly minor from a new feature standpoint, this update introduces an opportunity for Tumblr to expanding its ad products. The company, which recently started including ads in members’ dashboards, could eventually allow you to pay for prominent placement in the list of trending blogs, or for a thumbnail with its own trending tag.

There’s no mention of this yet, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for. After all, Twitter offers something similar with Promoted Products, specifically Promoted Trends. If ads perform well on the blogging platform, there’s no reason why we couldn’t see the same option become available.

[Via: TechCrunch, Image credit: Ardonik]