StumbleUpon Surpasses Facebook For Social Media Traffic Generation

UPDATE: Oops! StumbleUpon did it again.

How can a site with 12 million users send more traffic than a site with 600 million users? When your site is specifically designed to do nothing but send traffic. StumbleUpon may be small compared to sites like Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, but it sends the most social media traffic around the web according to the latest numbers by StatCounter.

StumbleUpon CEO Garrett Camp is excited about it, announcing it to the world via Twitter at 1am EST this morning:

StumbleUpon is one of the only companies that is designed to keep you away from their own website. By its very nature, StumbleUpon takes you everywhere else based upon your interests, stumbling habits, friends, and what’s hot in the Internet. Using an installed Toolbar or a browser frame, users “stumble” websites, stories, videos, and pictures, not knowing where they’ll be going next.

Once there, they can thumb something up or down and write a review of the page, or they can simply move on to the next stumbled site. The more that someone stumbles, the better the algorithm learns of the user’s preferences. The goal is to have an understanding of what the user enjoys so the site will serve only relevant pages.

The service is particularly popular with newer and smaller websites. While Facebook is a tremendous traffic generation tool, it requires time and creation of relationships, ie more “likes” to a website’s page or more shares by visitors. Large sites with a ton of traffic benefit most from Facebook’s sharing abilities.

StumbleUpon is different. A new site has a chance to “go viral” very quickly if the right mix of natural thumbs up come in. Soshable has received hundreds of thousands of hits from SU over the years. Other sites are much more successful, occasionally getting hundreds of thousands or even millions of views on a single piece of content.

The sites tracked in this segment by StatCounter include MySpace, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, and Digg. StumbleUpon and Facebook are way ahead of the other 5.

* * *

Read more about StumbleUpon on this social media blog.

About 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.


  1. This proves that the volume of traffic is not an indicator of a site’s success or failure. It has more to do with how people use the site that matters. StumbleUpon has tremendous influence as a measure of quality content, and they don’t even have to create any of their own. Some people may disagree, but Facebook is still very much a social site for everything but business, and is likely to remain that way for some time.

    I hardly use Facebook these days, because it doesn’t serve my marketing mix. I do, however, use lots of social bookmarking sites and Twitter to share links and content worth sharing. To me, that says alot about the purpose of all three sites, in perspective.

  2. Very cool! Now the waiting game begins to see if StumbleUpon can continue to keep this domination, or if it will slip back to the number two slot. Either way, its great to see that StumbleUpon continues to house a community hellbent on getting websites worth seeing the exposure they deserve.

  3. While this graph does show that StumbleUpon send more traffic, I wonder what the quality of the traffic is? Do they have high bounce rates? Are there conversions?

  4. I agree with @Mike. Bounce rate has always been very high for stumbled pages but seems it depends on content and site also.

  5. I agree with David and other SEO Pros who understand that when it comes to targeted traffic, “content is king”. We know seek traffic. The difference is, relevant targeted traffic that converts (based on the desired Call to Action) vs. non-targeted traffic that comes with (like Mike noted) a high bounce rate.

    I just installed a WP plug-in that monitors each new visitor’s activity on my blog. So I can see (in playback mode) mouse clicks, heat map concentration, opt-in form fill activity and a variety of call to action activities.

    The way I see it, if you visit my site based on my targeted longtail keywords, you are much more likely to opt-in or execute any one of a handful act CTA triggers on the site.

    Google analytics gives great high level site info/metrics, heat map analytics shows you what they do, where they do it and did they do what you wanted them to do. This is why I added a Heat Map coupon to my Google Places Business Listing. Talk about targeted visitors action -yeah baby!

  6. I paid for stumbles to my site ($0.05 cpc) and saw bounce rates of 95%. Of those that didn’t bounce, the average page time was under a minute. I got much better value out of Adwords.

  7. Interesting to know as a general observation, but for any particular niche, you still have to know where your target audience hangs out.

  8. this is really cool

  9. Danielle b. says:

    Facebook has peaked. It’s only going to go down from here. Stumble and this twitter thing are going to be the new thing. Profiles are to much.

  10. Definitely a trend in the making. The opportunity to capitalize on StumbleUpon’s traffic generating features is now!

  11. ….. someone is still bothering with tracking myspace?

  12. Interesting stats. Though, I wonder what category of content usually works on SU. It seems to me that mostly images and art related stuff does well on SU.

  13. According to my google analytics, the stumbleupon traffic to my site is the worst performing traffic my site has ever received by an incredibly high margin.

  14. just wondering how reliable is StatCounts statistic. usually people on facebook use also social bookmarking and conversely. Still there is a huge difference between FB and SU to believe the news. cheers

  15. New to StumbleUpon…

  16. Megan McCormcik says:

    I found StumbleUpon way back, before my kids or anyone I knew had seen it. Now they all are Stumbling. Thanks for this great idea.

  17. I never liked facebook since it was too much intervention into my personal space. StumbleUpon is certainly one of the best sites I came across for free flow interesting browsing in this world full of junk sites.

  18. do you ever feel like there is almost too much to know about the game of being popular online. Just when you think Facebook is good, — lurking behind the scenes are so many hidden gems. I agree – that Stumble is a gold mine also, as long as its relevant content and the stumbles are congruent. great job

  19. This is great news! Now I know I have a marketing option besides the Big 4 (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube)

  20. Very well written thanks for useful post :)

  21. I agree with David, traffic is not an indicator of a site’s success or failure. Facebook might have the traffic but no body is talking about anything at all!! For business, I definitely choose other social media sites and have better success.

  22. i had heard of stumbleupon before but never really used it..well i guess i will have to change that now,thanks for the info

  23. hi i am tuhin.

  24. its easier to browse websites with the SU toolbar which is why its easier to gain traffic from SU… if Facebook would imitate the same browsing style as SU, then Facebook would bring SO much traffic

  25. If you click on the picture it takes you to the website… which clearly shows that this was photoshopped. It appears to be accurate up until Dec ’10, but in Jan ’11 SU drops and FB rises, not the way it shows here. Poor form.

  26. It is true that traffic is important, but equally or more important is the content. If there is not a good content, traffic is meaningless.

  27. I hope StumbleUpon can keep up its lead. Facebook nowadays is starting to loose its hold social media traffic lead. Specially when Google+ starts to propagate.

  28. That is Great, I am glad I joined StumbleUpon. I am looking forward for some traffic.

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  34. Thats funny just stumbled onto this page.

  35. This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am
    actually happy to read all at alone place.

  36. StumbleUpon will fall back because it does nothing more than recirculate the same ole sites to the viewer over and over and over…

    With the millions of pages out there on the http://www... I can’t understand why the viewer is forced to view the same pages in spite of having clicked the page as “already seen” or “block this site!”

    Lastly, the list of topics I’ve checked off is not limited to just a few subjects… I have most of the “topics of interest” clicked on.

    So, StumbleUpon… you really need to up your game going forward!

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