No one can deny the effectiveness of Facebook and Twitter for generating traffic, but there’s been increased speculation lately that a social networking service which falls neatly between these two leviathans could be the next big thing in social media.

Tumblr is a social networking service that claims to fill the gap between Facebook and Twitter, offering a micro blogging service that seems to take elements from each and combine them in a unique way whilst offering additional benefits, especially where media is concerned.

Tumblr’s most recent acquisition is former Newsweek editor Mark Coatney, and with the New York Times featuring the appointment and the service very prominently this week a great many more business owners and SEO specialists are taking Tumblr’s contribution to social networking very seriously.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Tumblr provides the facility to publish a range of media, not just text and low resolution photographs. Audio (think podcasts), video, high resolution photographs and animations are all possible ways in which you can promote your business, which provides a much better social networking platform for those business who tend to find text based content rather limiting.

Combining both a ‘Like’ button (from Facebook) with the ability to ‘Re-blog’ (like re-tweeting on Twitter), Tumblr aims to provide a community, and promote conversation. It seems to be working, because whilst Twitter has about a 40% retention ratio, Tumblr is currently enjoying an 85% retention ratio.

With one of the best iPhone applications available (and entirely free), as well as an integrated bookmarking facility, Tumblr does seem to be offering an eclectic mix of some of the most successful elements from several different social media platforms.

Is this recipe likely to stand the test of time? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to let time do its thing, but meanwhile it wouldn’t be a bad idea to do a taste test.

Do you use Tumblr? Is it proving effective? Please leave a comment below and let us know.

Happy Tumbling!