In social media, traffic is everything. While most use sites like Facebook and Twitter for socializing, there is a growing number of people who use them and other social sites for content and news discovery. StumbleUpon has been able to capitalize on this trend beautifully because of their affinity to bring us what we didn’t know we wanted to see.
It’s not the first time it happened, though if you look at the last time we covered StumbleUpon back in January and compare it to the image above, it doesn’t quite say the same thing. This time, the lead is strong enough that we can assume even discrepancies in data won’t change the outcome.
If you compare the number of users, it’s not even close. Facebook is 30X larger in sheer user base. The philosophy and infrastructure of Facebook keeps it from being a true traffic-generator relative to its size – they are building a walled garden. The goal is to get you to Facebook and keep you there as long as possible.
Many “stumblers” use the service passionately and often without visiting the actual StumbleUpon website for anything other than writing reviews. The toolbar-based system is designed to keep you on the move, never knowing exactly where you’re going to land but always aware that the next click could take you to someplace amazing.
“The Freshness Factor” keeps StumbleUpon going strong, sending thousands (in some cases, millions) of unique visitors to high-quality, lucky individual web pages daily. It’s a long-running joke within the community that avid users need to “go outside” or “take a pee break” away from their addiction. Spam is quickly eliminated more easily than on any other true social voting site other than Reddit. There are issues – the service is down more often than most – but the upside is strong.
How powerful is a single “I like it!” on StumbleUpon? For some, it’s like putting the power of a hundred thousand page views into the power of a click.