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StumbleUpon May Become Bigger Player

New Plan Should Boost Usage

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[ Social Media]

StumbleUpon announced today that it will be rolling out a new design to make the service more accessible to new users. The biggest drawback has always been the fact that users had to install a toolbar to use the service, but with this new design, the need to do so has been eliminated.

It’s kind of interesting that StumbleUpon has waited so long to do this. They had to realize that use could be greatly amplified if only people weren’t required to install that toolbar. Perhaps the idea of eBay selling them provided motivation to actually change their ways.

StumbleUpon Redesign

Now I have been using StumbleUpon for a couple years now, and I feel that the toolbar is non-intrusive. In fact, I find it to be quite the opposite. I use it pretty frequently, particularly the search tool. Honestly, I find it more helpful than even the Google Toolbar, which I uninstalled. I will continue to use the StumbleUpon toolbar even as the new design is rolled out.

I’m sure that not everyone feels the same way about the toolbar that I do, which is why this is a very smart move on StumbleUpon’s part. It should play a key factor in getting people to start using it in the first place. Even if many users would see the usefulness of the toolbar once they started using it, it’s the convincing them of that which is truly the hurdle to overcome.

I don’t see how this move won’t translate into more users for StumbleUpon, and theoretically, more users will mean more quality content for the rest of us. "By allowing people to now Stumble without registering or downloading a toolbar, we will surface the best content on the Web to an even wider audience,” said StumbleUpon Co-founder Garrett Camp.

Unfortunately, this also means the potential for misuse will skyrocket as well. There will be more spam, and more people "gaming" the system. Just like people pay Digg users to promote their stories. Just like CareerBuilder is gaming Twitter. StumbleUpon would be wise to implement some kind of strategy to deter behavior like this, but as other big social sites struggle with it, there isn’t much reason to believe that StumbleUpon will be any different. My favorite part about StumbleUpon is the quality of the results. I sincerely hope that doesn’t change.

I’m not sure many people realize how useful the search feature of StumbleUpon can be. It’s not what you want to use to search for specific things like you would with Google, but it’s a great way to find content you didn’t know you should be looking for in the first place on any given topic. It’s not all about aimless surfing (although that can be rewarding at times too).

StumbleUpon has also announced a new partner program in which it will team up with sites to incorporate an internal “stumble” feature into them. Sites to sign up for this so far include HowStuffWorks.com, HuffingtonPost.com, NationalGeographic.com and RollingStone.com.

“Many publishers have a significant amount of content on their Web sites that is often buried and difficult to find. With StumbleUpon’s new Partner Program, select premier publishers can expose personally relevant content to their users by enabling Stumbling across their site, and in turn, can create an even more engaging user experience. StumbleUpon simply targets the publishers’ content to more relevant users, increasing a user’s activity on the site,” said Michael Buhr, general manager of StumbleUpon.

StumbleUpon provided the following stats in a release:

- More than 6 million registered users

– More than 350 million Stumbles per month

– More than 500 topics, using nearly 50 different social recommendation methods

– The largest human-submitted collection of Web sites in the world with more than 21 million pages in the StumbleUpon index

– 35,000 personally relevant pages are added to the database per day

– More than 2 billion Stumbles delivered since January 2008

And that’s all before the new plan. The partner program and non-toolbar dependence should both be huge for StumbleUpon to grow its business and ultimately become more profitable. eBay might think twice about selling the service now, or at the very least, more parties will likely become interested in buying.

StumbleUpon May Become Bigger Player
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  • http://www.urbanmeidia.co.uk/ seo company

    As an internet marketer i have a lot of love for Stumbleupon and i thankyou kind sir for sharing this information with me.

  • http://www.homebiz.bukiki.com/ Louis Liem

    The toolbarless stumbling has been around for a while. I noticed this when I first install google chrome a few weeks ago.

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Debbie Morgan

    I typically use Stumble Upon to raise awareness for my safety and security website so this is great news.

  • http://www.moovinonup.com/ SEO

    I love stumblupon long may it reign