October 1, 2014

What Makes StumbleUpon Unique?

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?

About Steven Snell

Steven is a web designer, blogger, and freelance writer.

62 comments

  1. Excellent post. I couldn’t agree more with just about everything you’ve written. StumbleUpon is awesome… with room to be unique and creative while utilizing it…

    great post… as always.

  2. Jason,
    Thanks for your feedback. StumbleUpon is definitely my favorite social media site to use because of its features. Although it can be a bit confusing at first if you don’t know the site very well.

  3. Really great article about Stumbleupon features.

  4. Completely agree. It can, in fact, be confusing… Thanks!

  5. I’ve been using it for a while and have found so many news sites both entertaining and informational!

  6. LST,
    I think that’s one of the things that people like about it so much is that you’re bound to find stuff that you like within your areas of interest. Thanks for your feedback.

  7. I have been using SU for about a year now.
    The significance is that I am still receiving 100′s of visitors for the pages i created a year back. The page made to top of Digg and recieved 10′s of thousands of visitors from the site. But with SU i am still receiveing 1000s of visitors weekly.
    Thank you SU.

  8. Aakash,
    That’s what I love most about SU.

  9. there is a great point about SU that i’ve been contemplating for some time, and yet haven’t seen in any of the blogs. the main advantage with SU is that it quadruples the amount of pages one might otherwise come across. with SU, i can see 50 different pages in one session, and find some of the useful. before, surfing was lame and stale. where was all the content? should i google it all? what to google for? now, i can see hundreds, this in turn reestablishes the use of the internet itself. SU actually gives the internet meaning and a context, plus a friendly userbase.

    how i love SU. social networking (with a toolbar) really is the future.

    f*** digg

  10. Way to generate yourself a bucketload of SU traffic. ;)

  11. SU is informative, diversified, not distractive and easy to stumble. vonniebee

  12. Jabulon,
    The functionality of the toolbar is its main advantage, in my opinion.

    Ebony,
    Thanks :)

    Yvonne,
    Agreed. Thanks for your comment.

  13. I don’t agree on point 8. When I stumble most of the time (like 95%) I only read the stumbled article, and then stumble through. It’s very rare for me to actually explore the website more, I usually just stumble through. I think this is with more people.

    However, on Digg, I stick around a little bit longer, becuase I already clicked on a link that I’m interested in.

  14. Jovatov,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I see you point. I think it partly depends on how you come across a site using SU. Personally, I tend to click-through to links directly from my friends profiles (looking at what they have stumbled) as opposed to actually using the stumble feature. I think this plays a role in how long a visitor will stick around.

  15. One of the reasons I really like StumbleUpon is because the visitors from SU have a really low bounce rate. On my blog it tends to be about 30-50% for SU visitors.

  16. I absolutely love StumbleUpon mostly I feel that I am learning so much! I believe that it is so user friendly. I built a blog that I am proud of and love to go back and remember what I tagged. I enjoy sending my finds to new SU friends and also receiving them from SU friends. The tool bar let’s the user choose what type of stumble you want. ie: photo, SU pages, video, news, etc. That way when I can listen to a video or two when I won’t disturb anyone I can. The freedom to connect with others ,Internationally, is amazing. I didn’t know that these kinds of social networking was even available. I only knew about myspace and facebook. That wasn’t for me. Most of all, I feel safe and powerful!

  17. I am a huge SU fan. It provides so much more opportunity for really getting to know people and the age range is certainly more mature than some other sites. It’s actually friendly.

  18. Good article. The thing about SU is it sends traffic to my sites and I enjoy using it to find new articles like this.

  19. I digg StumbleUpon! no pun intended.

  20. I absolutely love StumbelUpon. I joined as a user 6 weeks ago. My profile is http://inspirationforch.stumbleupon.com. I have experienced a momentum of signficant traffic on a daily basis. SU has fantastic features and since joining it has added 2 more features for it’s users. I highly recommend SU!

  21. Hey, thanks a lot for this post. I had no idea how important SU was, and now I will focus on getting that up to speed.

  22. Stumbleupon by so far one of the best toolbars that actually find good content on any one topic. Great way to discover new content on the internet. Makes the internet a lot more interesting and fun. I use it all the time.

  23. You’re right! Stumble upon change the way I’m surfing the web!

  24. All is true. Perhaps that’s why stumbleUpon is fun. But, by the way, I was direted here by Christa3 as s/he said here I will find the way of getting lots of stumble upon friends.

    Anyway, the article is great and opening divers aspects of Stumbleupon making it superb.

  25. Good article. I recently joined Stumbleupon and have created a good network. My sites are getting good and targeted traffic. I enjoy using it…

  26. Stumbleupon is like an investment – you get some thumbs up and then later on you get passive traffic .

  27. Добавил ваш сайт в закладки, очень понравился.

  28. Stumbleupon is my favorite, i encourage everyone to use it.

  29. Stumbleupon is my favorite

    Encourage everyone to use it.

  30. I have several blogger friends telling me about how SU had brought in massive traffic to their sites. This post has given me great confidence that SU could be maximized in its usage to help generate traffic & greater exposure for one site.

    @wchingya
    Social Media/Blogging

  31. Yes, I love SU for the fact that it brings me a lot of traffic. In fact SU is the second highest referrer to my site every month, apart from Google.

  32. awwwwsome way of explaining stumbleupon.

    it’s my highest traffic source at the mo.

    without needing a “power account” or hennything.

    coolness.

    stumbled ;)

  33. p.s. add a stumble this button ;)

  34. Yes that’s right, voters can really describe their vote. They are also given lots of choices to be used in submitting their reviews.

  35. Stumbleupon is amazing. Thanks for this article.

    I remember when I started my blog, stumbleupon sent me 15k uniques in 3 days to one of my articles:)

  36. We recently tested this by adding all of the pages of our new site to StumbleUpon and I must admit we saw a significant influx in traffic. When checking Google analytics it revelealed daily visitsors continually streaming in from StumbleUpon.

  37. The significance is that I am still receiving 100’s of visitors for the pages i created a year back.

  38. That’s what I love most about SU!!!

  39. StumbleUpon really gives traffic. I’ve added some pages of commercial site and have 12 visitors a day. Thank you very much! For commercial theme it is really good

  40. I Completely agree. It is Really great article about StumbleUpon features.

  41. stumbleupon has been the source of traffic .

  42. The stumbleupon community is very unique. You highlighted the features very well.

  43. Sounds very interesting. Can I get help with some used books I need for my studies. I need some books in mass communication.I wonder if some good-nature people can spare me theirs that they no longer need.

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