With or without bloggers, Stumbleupon races ahead; 25mn users and counting

Social bookmarking site StumbleUpon continues to grow in popularity and has now crossed the 25 million mark. Its dominance as a recommendation engine remains undiminished despite policy revision some months back. A recent study revealed that StumbleUpon is the largest source of referral traffic in the US compared to other social network sites.

Although SU’s 25mn hardly compares with others’ numbers, it is still regarded as the best site for discovering and sharing content with other users. For instance, Twitter is streets ahead with 140mn users, while Tumblr boasts 53mn bloggers and Facebook is ahead of the pack at a whopping 901mn users! But the SU numbers indicate only active users logging into the service at least 7 hours in a month. And only 15% of them are from outside the US. Now with over 75,000 advertisers and at least a million users added every month, SU appears to be on a roll. The site receives approx. 1.2 billion stumbles every month, 20% of which are from mobile phone users.

It used to be partly owned by eBay but ever since its spin-out in 2010, it has registered remarkable growth. The service has been around since 2001 but it is only after 2009 that it started seeing any kind of growth. The company is currently modelling the service after mainstream social networks by adding free brand channels wherein marketers and advertisers create their profiles in a format that is dissimilar to personal profiles. On the anvil are also plans to include a recommendation feature for third party products.

Around December the website tweaked its policy resulting in a lot of disgruntled bloggers. SU curtailed the sharing by denying a back-link to user (bloggers) recommendation. Consequently, such bloggers suffered a huge drop in reader traffic. Many moved on to sites like Pinterest while some relied on Digg and Twitter. Their parting from SU has hardly made a dent on its popularity, as can be seen from its numbers. Nevertheless, many bloggers still wish SU reverts to its previous policy.

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