I was just minding my own business submitting an article to StumbleUpon, when I couldn't help but notice an entirely new experience when I clicked the submit button.
The change may not seem huge, but it gives users a direct link to more of a website's content, and could potentially be huge for getting more pageviews out of the service.
Do you get significant traffic from StumbleUpon? Do you view it as a valuable social media tool? Let us know in the comments.
In the past, when clicking on a webpage's StumbleUpon "Submit" button, users would have gotten something more like this (which I'm still getting from the StumbleUpon toolbar):
Now, we're seeing this when you click the submit button from a webpage:
After clicking yes, it goes to something like this:
As you can see, it eliminates the categorization and tagging elements as well as the option to leave a comment. It also says the page is added to your likes. It's unclear how StumbleUpon is categorizing this content, and if it intends to take this ability away from users entirely or not.
It's also worth noting that StumbleUpon profiles specifically list a user's "Additions" separate from (or as part of, technically) the user's "likes". While the new functionality says it adds the content to your likes, that content still appears in the Additions section of the profile.
The nice part about this for publishers is that it gives users a chance to stumble through other content on their site, which could result in more pageviews.
StumbleUpon has long been a major driver of referral traffic to sites. According to Shareaholic, it's the fourth largest such driver, behind only Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
StumbleUpon's referrals are often criticized for catering to a high bounce rate as the nature of the service is to show users various webpages from around the Internet, but getting people to stumble through specific sites could help in that department.
We reached out to StumbleUpon to learn more about the new functionality and how things are changing. We were told that we'd have more details about what they're up to soon, so we'll have to wait and see if there is any more to this, and/or if the company has more strategy changes on the horizon.
For now, the new submission experience appears to be consistent between desktop and mobile, outside of the toolbar experience.
As suggested in the comments of this very article, it's possible that StumbleUpon can do a better job of categorizing content than the users who are submitting it. If that is indeed the case, everyone should benefit from a better user experience. How this might affect the "Explore" feature, which they already played down in more recent product updates, remains to be seen, as it appears to be driven largely by categories and tags.
Personally, if they're going to do the categorization on their own, and get it right, I'd love to see a new StumbleUpon search experience that lets you Stumble though great content related to specific topics. We'll see.
What do you think of the changes? Do you expect this to help with your StumbleUpon traffic? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Note: This article has been updated with additional content.
Images via StumbleUpon/Mashable/Shareaholic