StumbleUpon has been a major driver of web traffic for years, despite somehow flying almost completely under the radar in day to day media coverage and marketing discussion. There was a time when you heard about it a lot more frequently, but these days, it's just not making the headlines like it used to.
Are you getting significant web traffic from StumbleUpon these days? Let us know in the comments.
The fact is that StumbleUpon is still one of the top drivers of social media traffic referrals, and while it's numbers have been down quarter-over-quarter, it's one of the few social platforms to be driving a greater number of referrals than it was during the same period last year.
This week, Shareaholic released its Q2 Social Media Traffic Report. Out of the eight top social networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn), only Facebook saw an increase as a source of social media traffic referrals, up 10.09%.
Even number two Pinterest, which saw huge growth the previous quarter, started down the opposite path decreasing 19.38%. Out of these eight networks, only LinkedIn saw a bigger decrease than StumbleUpon quarter-to-quarter. StumbleUpon fell 39.12%.
Yet year-over-year, StumbleUpon is one of only three of these networks with an increase (top dogs Facebook and Pinterest being the other two). Over the past year, StumbleUpon referrals have seen a positive 13.33% change.
“In the last 13 months StumbleUpon’s share of traffic peaked just shy of 1% in March 2014,” writes Shareaholic’s Danny Wong. “Growing slightly year-over-year, last month, it drove a modest 0.60% of overall traffic to sites, up 13.33% (0.07 percentage points) from 0.53% in June 2013.”
“Content discovery continues to be a huge and growing space,” he says. “Though because of limited opportunity for users to 'engage' with the platform, marketers and publishers will have to cross their fingers hoping their stories will be recommended, over and over again, to StumbleUpon’s plethora of content-hungry users.”
But that has always been the challenge with StumbleUpon, and it is that "plethora of content-hungry users" that keeps it a viable source of traffic. While StumbleUpon has plenty of competition in the content discovery space, there is still no other service that does it quite like StumbleUpon does - random, but almost always interesting content served by the user's topic of interest. After all these years, the concept still works and has gone largely unchallenged. That's what keeps it in the charts. It's even above reddit, YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn on referrals.
Over the past year, StumbleUpon itself has been more focused on its advertising business and 5by app than any direct features or marketing of StumbleUpon itself.
Last fall, the company shared its revenue numbers for the first time as it became profitable, and shortly after, made its first acquisition - 5by - a video discovery app that is actually very StumbleUpon-y in nature. It serves users random popular videos based on category, though more recently it has added channels and Chromecast support making it a solid entertainment option for the living room.
The company really hasn't done much in the way of giving organic content more ways to reach users in quite some time. That's actually a reason why it's all the more remarkable that it has seen that 13% referral increase over the past year, even if it's down from last quarter.
Unfortunately, while it still drives considerable traffic, StumbleUpon is not the best in terms of engagement after the click. In fact, of those same eight social networks, it came in dead last in that category in a report Shareaholic released back at the end of March. That has, however, always been a criticism of StumbleUpon traffic.
Do you consider StumbleUpon to be a viable source of traffic? Is that traffic valuable? Share your thoughts in the comments.