Like Madonna, socialbookmarking services like Digg and Reddit have been reinventing themselves to stay relevant within social media circles. With over 8.5 million users and 35 million Web pages "stumbled," StumbleUpon has gone one step further than its competitors.
Garret CampRedesigning itself to serve more as a social search engine "somewhere between a Twitter and Google," according to founder Garrett Camp, StumbleUpon is moving into its next phase of evolution.
Previously functioning as exclusively as a social bookmarking site that tagged one's news articles of interest, it now operates as a proper search engine, with one minor caveat. It only surfaces search results that have already been vetted by the Stumbleupon community, and then within those results, it can display the Web pages of all members, your friends only, or just your own Stumbles.
“It is halfway between search and discovery,” says Camp. “It is not as comprehensive as Google and not as real-time as Twitter.” The idea, rather, is to add a social media layer to search without all the clutter that one finds on Twitter and Google. And for those that don't think that SU has enough content to offer, since its inception, SU has collected tens of millions of Web pages in its "index" together with millions of reviews added daily.
Many Stumblers who have been members for some time prefer to access SU by its toolbar versus its Web site. For those users, you will be happy to know that SU will also be launching a new toolbar shortly, which will add these social search features, as well as the ability to share links on Facebook and Twitter, using their link shortening URL called "Su.pr".
Other highlights of the new SU roll-out include:
- Anyone can receive personalized recommendations directly from the SU homepage--from any computer, no install or registration required
- Simple, sleek site design and enhancements to the SU add-on, make it more user friendly and make it easier for new users to begin discovering great websites
- The same intelligence used to power "Stumbles" now applied to search--personal preferences along with collaborative human opinions help deliver the most personalized and relevant search results
- Search is now available on every SU page, allowing users to search through their own favorites, others' favorites, or exclusively through friends' favorites
Ram ShriramFor those that remember, SU was originally owned by eBay and now that it has spun off, Ram Shriram, SU investor and board member thinks, "It's great to see the original founders' vision reflected in this new release, StumbleUpon's first major product release since its independence from eBay,"
- Improved Friend search makes it easier to find the people you know on SU and meet others with similar interests
- See recommendations from people you know highlighted in search results and easily Stumble or search within their favorite sites
So, if you're a "Stumbler," dear reader, and you like this update, by all means, give it a Stumble, before you DIGG it or REDDIT it! This blogger would greatly appreciate it.