When observing the hundreds of social media websites that exist, StumbleUpon sets itself apart from the crowd by being completely unique. While many other sites use a cookie-cutter approach, StumbleUpon is truly unlike any other social media site. That unique approach is part of what makes it so attractive to users and marketers.
Here are 9 things that make StumbleUpon different from other social media websites:
1. It Sends Ongoing Traffic
With most social media sites, a popular submission will only receive traffic for a short time. It may last for a few days, but after that period of time the page will receive almost no traffic from that source. Even sites with thousands and thousands of active users, like Digg, typically only send a significant amount of traffic for a few days. However, StumbleUpon can send traffic for months and maybe even longer. The initial burst of traffic from SU may not be as big as with some other sites, but it will last much longer. This is just one reason why website owners love SU traffic.
2. Significant Traffic Can Come from Only a Few Thumbs Up
The traffic that comes from most social media sites is basically all or nothing. Popular pages may receive thousands of visitors, but pages that just missed becoming popular probably receive less than 100 visitors. There’s really no middle ground. With StumbleUpon you don’t have to have an immensely popular submission to get a few hundred visitors. Just a few users giving you a thumbs up and a review can cause a significant amount of traffic to follow.
3. The Random Stumble Feature
Of course, what really makes SU unique is the stumble feature, which will show you random pages (according to your interests and preferences) that other users like. You can even stumble through the pages that a particular friend has liked. While other social media sites allow you to see what others have voted for, the stumble feature is faster and more fun. If you have friends that like similar content as you, this is a great way to find new stuff.
4. The StumbleUpon Toolbar
Many of the major social media sites offer their own toolbar to be used in your browser, but StumbleUpon’s has more useful features than any of the others. With the toolbar you can of course stumble through pages, network with friends, share pages with others, and more. The best feature of the toolbar (in my opinion) is that you can very quickly and easily vote for pages or submit them to SU. No other social media site makes it so easy to vote.
5. Better Networking
Networking features are built in to most social media sites, but StumbleUpon outdoes its primary competitors. With SU it’s easy to add and maintain friends, join and participate in groups, and you can even send email to other users directly from StumbleUpon. I frequently use the StumbleUpon message system to communicate with my friends, even if the communication isn’t directly related to SU. The networking that I’ve been able to do on StumbleUpon has been more valuable than the networking I’ve done on all other social media sites combined.
6. People Actually Visit the “About” Pages
Most social media sites give you a place where you can write a brief profile of yourself, but these pages are rarely visited and read by other users. With StumbleUpon all users have an about page, and other users actually visit this page. From this page you can add a user as a friend, see what they have liked, send them a message, write a review of the user, and more. Your profile on StumbleUpon has much more potential to get some exposure and send traffic to your website than most social media profiles.
7. Less Significance of Who Submits an Item
With some sites, especially Digg, the profile of the user that submits an item has a huge influence on the chances of becoming popular. A top Digg user can submit a page that becomes popular, but if another user had submitted the page it may have only received 5 diggs and almost no traffic. With StumbleUpon, the profile of the user submitting an item doesn’t have quite as much of an influence on how many people see it and vote for it. Yes, it still helps to have a “top user” submit an item, but having an average user submitting the page doesn’t mean that it will likely receive no traffic.
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8. Higher Time On Page and Number of Page Views
Social media traffic is notoriously impatient and this typically results in a short amount of time on the page and a low average number of pages viewed. This is still somewhat the case with StumbleUpon, but these numbers are much better than the same numbers representing traffic from other social media sites. SU users are a little bit more likely to explore a site and stick around for a few minutes.
9. Users Can Easily Explain Their Vote
The review feature of SU allows users to say anything they want about a page, positive or negative, which can be helpful to see why they are giving it a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Most social media sites allow users to leave comments, but in most cases you can’t see how someone is voting and the comment at the same time. Additionally, the reviews left on SU are generally more informative and productive than the comments left at other social media sites.
What other ways would you say that StumbleUpon is unique? Is there anything here that you particularly agree with or disagree with?