StumbleUpon has done an overhaul, introducing numerous features and aesthetic changes. The updates are inspired in part by recent exponential growth – 800 percent YoY – in mobile use; the company hopes to apply similar concepts here and achieve comparable results.
The New StumbleUpon Look
Users who go to the StumbleUpon website today will see a whole new site. From the company's branding to their interface to the actual offered functionality, there's something new in each sector.
While the most evident change is the new design, StumbleUpon also has gone deeper into both the form and functionality of the profile pages and stumbles themselves. Each element of the site has been simplified, made cleaner and more accessible for both the mobile and desktop environments.
"We're doing a complete relaunch of the site, and a lot of it is inspired by our mobile experience," Garrett Camp, StumbleUpon's CEO, told Fast Company. "It's basically because of our mobile traction. That streamlined experience, which is simpler and without complexity, has really resonated with users. We wanted to take what we learned from mobile and bring that to the web."
Image via Fast Company
The "mobile traction" Camp refers to here is the aforementioned 800 percent growth. While previously a negligible portion of Stumble's use, mobile stumbling now accounts for over 200 million actions and nearly 20 percent of total usage.
For StumbleUpon, though, the difficulty isn't traffic or retention; 20 million users make more than a billion "stumble" queries each month, and the average stumbler spends 7 hours on the site each month. Monetization opportunities have been limited, though, and that's what StumbleUpon is hoping to change.
Stumbling Through Channels
It's true that profiles no longer have blog capabilities and no longer inform you who's been visiting your page, the interface and accessibility of the profile is much improved – and points users to deeper ways to connect. Most importantly, users can now customize the sort of content they see by following "Channels."
"Channels" are something akin to Facebook pages or Twitter accounts; celebrities, brands, and other partners have the chance to create a channel and connect with users. At launch, 250 partners – including Audi, Jim Carrey, ESPN, Funny or Die, and the History Channel – are established on the site.
While users have long been able to declare their interests in order to "stumble" the sort of content they're more likely to enjoy, the option to follow channels allows users to more accurately define their interests and tastes. Those who run Channels, meanwhile, get an opportunity to connect with users in a fresh and engaged way.
Camp states that he hopes this will "spread awareness," through both improved connection for users and the natural incentive partners will have to spread word about their presence on the site. As awareness builds, Camp has faith that advertisers will see the benefit in working both by contributing to Channels and by using the ad platform.
Are you a Stumbler, an interested advertiser, or an apathetic outsider? Do you think that SU can really offer a powerful, actionable ad platform? Give us your thoughts in the comments.