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.

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