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The Endless Appeal of Old Pictures

The New York City Department of Records just uploaded nearly a million photos of the city and its inhabitants taken over the past 150 years, like this one of Babe Ruth at the 1936 World Series.

And it turns out we love old pictures, or at least like them very much. So far 85,000 of us have hit the Like button on the Daily Mail’s story, which features a selection of the images. (Update 4/30/12: It’s now over 92,000 Likes.) Compare that to the social likability of Daily Mail stories that feature more current photos: 31 for a story about Obama on the cover of Rolling Stone, 177 for Madonna breaking the record for #1 albums, and 233 for the new lingerie pictures of a Victoria’s Secret model.

It’s not just gorgeous old NYC photos that are challenging the perception that social media is just for real-time news that can’t wait around for traditional media outlets to break the story. When it rolled out its Open Graph integration last year, London’s Independent learned that several quirky stories from the late 1990s were the most shared stories of the early 2010s.

Tumblr Strategy for Brands: Focus on Images

Above: Vogue’s Tumblr, where posted photos regularly receive more than 2000 notes — including reblogs, Likes and comments.

From Ragan.com’s Essential Guide for Brands on Tumblr, which counsels brands to focus on images:

This goes for all social platforms… keep your copy short and let the images and links do your talking. If this is too daunting, or if you don’t have the type of content that would fit this approach, you may want to rethink whether Tumblr’s the best medium for you to reach your fans.

See also Target’s use of Tumblr to support limited-time social media events such as its recent pop-up store to support the launch of the Missoni line.

(Via David Veneski.)