Upcoming StumbleUpon Changes and What They Mean

StumbleUpon recently made the beta ‘final’ version of their upcoming patch available to the public. Between major redesigns and feature changes, this patch is proving to be one of their biggest to date. The real question is: How are these changes going to affect SU users? I’ll touch on some of the most radical changes and the ones most likely to affect your average SU user.

Friends

  • For the purposes of sharing, the StumbleUpon ‘friends’ feature will be removedand replaced with the already existing subscription method. This is sort of a return to the way Stumble operated in 2007 and early 2008. Once the patch goes live, if you want to send content to someone you must be mutually subscribed to them. In other words… you have a lot of subcribing to do!Note: You can only subscribe to 25 people a day. Stumble doesn’t provide any warning message indicating that you’ve surpassed the max amount of subscriptions for the day. Don’t feel bad when you share your Stumble user page and don’t see a lot of reciprocation right away. It’s not their fault!
  • SU has added a “Two way” icon that lets you know if you’re able to directly share content with a friend/subscriber. If no icon appears, this friend can only access your discoveries in the course of regular use of the stumble button.Note: During the beta, the “Two way” icon appears for your mutual friends not your mutual subscriptions. The change will only come into effect once the patch goes fully live.

Sharing

  • If you were a Digg user circa 2008, you may find this style of sharing familliar. Unlike the easy 1-click share that was afforded to us in the previous Stumble patch, if you want to share with all your subscribers you need to select each individually.
  • “What’s New” feature has been added which allows users to keep up-to-date with their subscriptions in quasi real-time. This “Recent Activity” page shows content your subscriptions have thumbed-up, thumbed-down, reviewed and discovered.
  • In order to be able to share content with another users you must both be subscribed and both have “accept shares to my toolbar” on their profile page enabled.
  • Sharing is still done either through the toolbar (individually) or from the page with the mouseover Share button

Interface

  • Stumble has shifted focus from the StumbleBar to the SU website. While the SU bar will still be in heavy use, the SU design will undergo a significant overhaul to make it easier for users without the Stumblebar to contribute to the community and add value.
  • The “Star Rating”, one of Stumble’s most perplexing features, has been removed in favor of a simpler viewcount feature. Many of the pages that submissions and activity are displayed show this new viewcount feature which simply denotes how many times a link has been visited through Stumble.

User Profiles

  • The “Similarity Meter” has been removed and replaced with a less obvious “Sites we both like” feature which is accessable when you navigate to another users page and select the “We both like” tab.

Tags

  • You can now subscribe to Tags in the same way as you can with Topics.

This patch shows that StumbleUpon is taking real steps to appeal to a broader audience while trying to keep their current users happy. All these changes basically make StumbleUpon easier to use and understand for the new user and add some modest spam reducing features for good measure.

If you stay up-to-date, the new patch looks as though it will have few rammifications on your social media campaigns apart from having to re-add your friends as subscribers in order to share content. But then again, it could just be a good excuse to do a bit of friend spring cleaning…

UPDATE

  • Another addition in this patch that I neglected to mention was the “Friend’s who like this” feature. For the first time in SU history you can see which of your friends have “liked” your stories.

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