What is StumbleUpon and How Does it Work?

what is stumbleupon

What if there was a site that could predict everything you wanted to see on the Internet? StumbleUpon is a social network that helps you discover unique and interesting things across the Web. So what is StumbleUpon, exactly?  StumbleUpon is basically a discovery engine of entertainment that recommends photography, art, humor, fashion, sports, technology and just about every other topic you can think of.

Navigating StumbleUpon feels like surfing a Web where every incoming WiFi wave feels tailor-made just for you. All you have to do is tell StumbleUpon a few things you like (and a couple things you don’t), and it will learn your preferences to start feeding you interesting content.

What makes StumbleUpon so cool is that every time you use it, you end up on an epic journey through webpages you may have never found without the help of the tool. We’ve found everything from must-see astrophotography to classic infographics.

Besides bringing you awesome webpages, StumbleUpon allows you to submit webpages you’ve enjoyed, follow people and interests, see what your friends have shared, browse popular trending posts, photos and videos and create lists of pages you like.

StumbleUpon also offers a Paid Discovery system for advertisers, and content marketers have taken notice. According to Shareaholic‘s Social Media Traffic report from late 2013, StumbleUpon accounted for more publishing traffic than popular sites like YouTube, Google, LinkedIn and Reddit combined.

what is stumbleupon

Using the Stumble Button and Toolbar

Ready to stumble across some interesting new webpages? You can explore recommended content by visiting StumbleUpon.com/home, which presents a grid of pages you might be interested in based on topics you like.

At the top of the page you’ll find a toolbar called the StumbleBar which, among other elements, contains the Stumble Button. Clicking this button is kind of like pressing a “next” button. Every time you click it, StumbleUpon will load a new webpage for you.

Along with the Stumble Button, in the StumbleBar you’ll also find thumbs up and thumbs down buttons for rating pages. You’ll want to use these buttons to help StumbleUpon better understand your interests so it can recommend you even cooler content.

Outside the StumbleUpon homepage, the StumbleBar is also available as a Chrome extension, a Firefox add-on and as an app for Android, iOS and Windows 8. Using one of these downloads will give you access to the StumbleBar everywhere you go on the Web.

what is stumbleupon

StumbleUpon History
StumbleUpon was founded in November 2002 by entrepreneurs Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith, Justin LaFrance and Eric Boyd. The site was acquired by eBay in 2007 for approximately $75 million and then sold back to several of the original founders in 2009. In April 2012 StumbleUpon announced it had surpassed 25 million registered users, and today it’s one of the top 150 most visited sites on the Web according to Alexa.

Have you ever Stumbled through StumbleUpon? What do you think about the site?

More in: 18 Comments ▼

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18 Reactions
  1. Wow, I had no idea Stumbleupon was still around! I used it every day back in 2009, but lost favor with it after some redesigns and feature changes. I’ll have to check it out again.

  2. I have been using StumbleUpon since the old days and I am quite surprised that it has lagged behind the other sites. It used to be so popular back then, even more popular than Facebook.

  3. I’m familiar with StumbleUpon. Have an account there. I don’t use it that much these days, but when I used to, I’d use it more for sharing things I liked than stumbling.

  4. Stumbleupon looks great. I hope it continues.

  5. StumbleUpon works for my blog. I get traffic from them. Also, I enjoy visiting other blogs.

  6. It’s interesting this is on a Small Business website. I would like to see an article that spells out the best way to leverage a site like StumbleUpon for a Small Business??

  7. I will try it too. Seems pretty cool.

  8. I haven’t ventured into Stumble Upon but must give it a try.

  9. Stumbleupon is a great site for finding sites you would never even think of looking at because you are seeing things that other find interesting. It’s a great research tool when you think about it.

  10. I love StumbleUpon. Been using it for years. I find very interesting content that I otherwise would have never found. It taps into my creative side and inspires me! :0)

  11. I used it a year after it first set up. However, I didn’t find it much use for my interests and gave up with it. On going back recently to look at it again, I can’t even view anything now unless I have an account. How can I therefore assess what it’s like if I can’t see anything that is on it? All this “connect with Facebook, connect with Google” stuff gets my goat….I don’t faff with either of these monsters. It seems social network sites expect you to just sign up first before you can even decide whether or not it’s going to be of interest to you. Talk about manipulation.
    One becomes an outcast if one does not belong to a social network. Personally, I’ve decided to be rebellious and be an outcast. Maybe we should have a social network for outcasts.

    • I agree 100 percent!! You can’t enter contest or make some kind of post. Everyone wants you to ‘Like’ before you continue through certain sites. 1 for the outcast.

  12. How would a social network for outcasts be constructed? count me in!

  13. How would you recommend a small business use StumbleUpon?

  14. I have used Stumbleupon, but it is really confusing. I have stumbleupon a website, but still not sure where I will be able to check the same and how I will going to get traffic using the same.

  15. hmmmm. The last post was in 2016. I’d never heard of Stumbleupon, but then, I’ve been an online marketer for over 12 years and NEVER posted on FB until a year ago. Go figure – I’m a late bloomer (for sure: I didn’t acquire my Master’s Degree until I turned 55…like I said, Late Bloomer. :O) I’m curious to see what comes of connecting on this website. I stumble on quite a bit of interesting things while searching the web. This seems like the perfect place to post what I find.