NASA is officially joining Tumblr in an effort to give citizens a "regular dose of space" in the form of photos, videos and blog posts, the agency announced last week.
The agency already has official Facebook and Twitter accounts; @NASA has 11.7 million followers. But for visual content -- images of stars, galaxies, or Earth from the space station --Tumblr's interface "allows us to share our content in a blog-like format with their users, who will hopefully become more aware and engaged about space exploration," NASA's social media manager, John Yembrick, wrote in an email to Nextgov.
"Platforms that allow us to showcase the amazing imagery fit really well into our social media communications efforts," Yembrick wrote. "We want people to be aware of what we’re doing, and we also want them to care, and showing them what Pluto looks like for the first time or seeing the Earth through the eyes of an astronaut in space are good examples."
NASA is also launching a few other Tumblr accounts, including one for astronaut Peggy Whitson, who plans to document her training for a six-month mission to the International Space Station. A second account is for the Curiosity rover that will "share engineering, science and selfies from the surface of Mars," and the third is for JunoCam, which will show images of Jupiter from NASA's Juno mission.
The main NASA Tumblr will be managed by a social media team and NASA's headquarters. The other accounts will be overseen by each mission's social media teams, according to Yembrick. Whitson's account will be run by NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
NASA is just the latest federal agency to make its debut on Tumblr. Other frequent posters include the Bureau of Land Management, which posts often-surreal images of public land, and the Internal Revenue Service, which regularly posts tax advice and links to its services.