For the first time in over a year, del.icio.us, the social bookmarking darling that made it cool to share your favorites, has fallen in traffic below social media powerhouses reddit.com and StumbleUpon according to compete.com’s December numbers.  Propeller, formerly Netscape, is closing in on del.icio.us as well.

While Compete’s numbers are often inaccurate, it is still a bad trend and lends to the idea that social media is replacing social bookmarking as a way to save faves.  Both StumbleUpon and Reddit, as well as most other social media websites, offer ways of saving or bookmarking websites beyond the primary ability of sharing stories, videos, and pictures.  StumbleUpon gives each user a blog that they can save any page that they review, while reddit offers an option to save any page that is submitted.

Reddit StumbleUpon del.icio.us

While social media sites can crossover to be used as basic social bookmarking sites, the crossover potential from social bookmarking to social media is more difficult.  In essence, it is possible, and having a story make the front page of del.icio.us has similiar traffic boosts as the social media sites, but it is far less interactive and the voting system really only works one way.  On Reddit and SU, a story can be downmodded or thumbed down, offering a way to keep the air clean of spam and worthless submissions.

What does this mean for the future of social bookmarking?  Overall, it doesn’t mean too much, other than stunted growth.  Those who are active and avid users of SB sites will still use them, as the categories and organization of the shared bookmarks still has tremendous advantages.  Still, gaining new users will be more difficult, as del.icio.us, despite its excellent name, doesn’t offer an interface as “sexy” as social media sites.

On a side note, compete.com is proving to not have a full grasp of social media, specifically the keywords aspect.  According to compete, the top keyword for Reddit is “beastiality”, for Propeller.com it is “impnerd”, and for Digg.com, it’s “Jennifer Love Hewitt Bikini Pictures.”  Relevant data.  Way to go, compete.

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Written by JD Rucker
+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.