StumbleUpon has shut down, moves to Mix platform
StumbleUpon has shut down. The online discovery service which debuted in 2001, has been closed after nearly 17 years in operation.
Some of you may not have heard about the service before, but I think many of you would have at least come across Su.pr. It was a URL shortening service which shut down 5 years ago, and was one of the most popular of its kind during its heyday.
StumbleUpon was a way for users to find blogs and websites to follow. Think of a Yellow Pages for the internet, and that is exactkly what it was. The service was invaluable as a website discovery tool for both users and advertisers. You could submit your obscure website to StumbleUpon, and select a genre, for example: tech blog, tech forums, etc. And users of the service who are interested in the specific website category may “Stumble Upon” your website, and you might have a new regular visitor/reader.
So, StumbleUpon has shut down. Why? Because the company has a new service, called Mix. And this essentially offers similar services, but also has new ways to promote websites. This includes curated articles, which are displayed to the user when you select your preferred category. So, technically you are not stumbling upon anything. You are just getting content which the website deems is important, or based on advertisers. That’s not exactly the same is it?
Well you could blame it on the rise of smartphones and social networks. These have made us, the users, quite lazy. When people like some content , they are now more likely to share it to Facebook or Twitter, or just share the link via IM.
And also, we need to consider the fast paced world we live in today,, one doesn’t have the time to browse the web and find websites, and because of this content publishers, aka websites, use it as an opportunity to promote their pages through such services. Essentially, it is an ad platform so to speak. StumbleUpon too had such a paid system, but it only affected about 5% of the websites which the user would see. It relied mostly on discovery, and was actually beneficial to both the user and the website which they find.
And now that StumbleUpon has shut down, there may be no real replacement for the service which once boasted millions of users. It was a good run, one which will be missed by many.