Stumbleupon Gets a New Look


Stumbleupon is making a play for more users by revamping its color scheme, debuting a new logo, a new “Channels” feature and improving the effectiveness of its stumble feature by adding a new “Stumblebar,” the crux of its business model.

Stumbleupon was an early leader in the area of web content flagging social media services. It allowed users to earmark certain web pages for other users to note. This was a different take on social media that proved popular with regular blog readers and people who spent more time reading on the Internet than playing virtual games.
Last summer Stumbleupon debuted a new feature, the “Explore Box” which allowed users to find specific content by doing a simple keyword search. Prior to that they could only search for a general interest topic, not a specific theme. The “Explore Box” proved very popular and new users began flocking to the site. This spurred Stumbleupon to continue innovating and improving their site, leading to the most recent changes.

The “Stumblebar” lets users more easily share the content they enjoy most with their friends via email, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Sharing is the basis of Stumbleupon, it is what brings users around to the site in the first place, so anything which facilitates sharing is likely to be a welcome feature.

Stumbleupon did not use a complicated algorithm to determine what improvements to make, they just listened to their existing users and responded. In today’s quickly changing social media world where changes come and go based on what often looks like a random decision or one obviously meant to increase revenue in a specific area, responding to user requests seems like a radical idea.
But it worked for Stumbleupon. The site recently eclipsed 20 million active users and has been climbing steadily. The new look is brighter, the new logo is more exciting and the entire site is more visually oriented than it was before, focusing on a broad range of popular search topics, like music, movies and humor.

Not everything is wholly original, however. Their new Stumbleupon “Channels” look very much like Facebook Pages in that they allow businesses or individuals to create brand specific sites within Stumbleupon that promote their featured or original content. But given the success of Facebook Pages it is no wonder others are mimicking the feature. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

It was not so long ago that many people were predicting the imminent demise of content sharing web sites, chief among them, Stumbleupon. But this recent slate of changes has proven vastly more successful than anyone might have predicted, thus proving once again that what we think we can expect from the future of social media is nothing compared with what we will actually get.

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