After 17 years online, the Web 2.0 social bookmarking site StumbleUpon has shut down. StumbleUpon has long been popular with both authors for sharing content, as well as users looking for content personalized to their tastes and interests. With the news that the site closed its doors effective June 30, 2018, the internet lost another a piece of its history, as well as a popular content platform.
Why Did StumbleUpon Shut Down?
StumbleUpon co-founder Garret Camp (more famous as the co-founder of Uber) announced on Medium (a content sharing platform with a distinctly different trajectory) that:
After careful consideration, we’ve made the decision to focus fully on building Mix and transition StumbleUpon accounts into Mix.com over the next couple months
The good news, then, is that StumbleUpon will continue, at least in spirit, as Mix, a more modern content curation and social bookmarking service. The fact that the service will continue, albeit in a rebranded and modified form, should come as no surprise, considering the enduring popularity of StumbleUpon. As of March 2018, the site still held a very respectable Alexa Rank of under 2,000, making it a premier web property even then.
With such an enduring presence and millions of users, we expect this to be less of a shut down and more of a rebranding.
What Was StumbleUpon and What is Mix?
StumbleUpon was founded in November 2001 as a discovery and advertisement engine, a type of search engine for recommending content. Users could rate content that was personalized to their tastes through the use of peer-sourcing, social networking, and sponsored posts.
Sixteen years ago, we started StumbleUpon to help people discover new webpages. The idea was simple: click a button to find a cool webpage. It was easy and fun. Over the years SU has delivered personalized content to over 40 million users, serving up nearly 60 billion stumbles. StumbleUpon pioneered content discovery on the web, before the concepts of the “like button”, “news feed” or “social media” were mainstream. – Garret Camp
StumbleUpon was one of the generation of Web 2.0 websites, moving away from simple passive viewing of content, and introducing user-generated content and participation among users. Before its decline, StumbleUpon claimed an impressive 40 million users and 60 billion “stumbles” (or shares).
As with everything, our internet habits change, often quite rapidly. StumbleUpon simply could not keep up with changing consumer habits and expectations, and this is why the decision was made to ax the service and resurrect it as something new.
Mix aims to continue the usefulness of StumbleUpon’s social bookmarking feature and “content roulette” style of sharing, while incorporating what has become a must-have: deeper integration with, and the feature set, of social media.
we’ve learned from (StumbleUpon) that while simplicity and serendipity is important, so is enabling contextual curation (ie. “cool space photos”) instead of just clicking “I like it”. – Garret Camp
The number of people using the internet has skyrocketed, and the means in which we access content has also changed. Mix is StumbleUpon’s response to the changing times.
What’s Next for Content Marketing on Mix?
The good news is that unlike with the closing of Google+, we’re not losing a service, simply modifying one. We have even been promised the ability to move our bookmarks, categories and other data from StumbleUpon to Mix. For us digital marketing professionals, this is an excellent opportunity to review our existing content and see if it needs updates or improvements. Check it, update it, and share it again in a slightly new way!
Be sure to follow us on Mix and we can all pitch in to help it grow! We also featured Mix on our article about content platforms you may be overlooking. Check back regularly or sign up to our newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on what’s happening in the world of digital marketing.
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