StumbleUpon wants to Mix it up

Read time 3min 20sec
StumbleUpon has moved to a new platform called Mix.
StumbleUpon has moved to a new platform called Mix.

StumbleUpon, a pioneer in content discovery on the Internet, has shut down its operation after 16 years.

It offered users a way to explore the vast network of the Web, to discover interesting sites and blogs that users may have not even known they were interested in.

Users would select what topics they were interested in when they signed up and then click the 'stumble' button and be taken directly to a relevant and interesting Web site.

The 'stumble' button would be attached to a strap at the top of the page and let users save a Web site they really liked.

In an e-mail sent to StumbleUpon users, the team that created the platform says: "Before posts and tweets, before snaps and pins, StumbleUpon was there providing endless Internet entertainment with just the push of a button."

StumbleUpon was one of the early versions of social networks allowing users to connect with others and explore each other's saved finds. The platform made money by integrating advertisers' sites into the StumbleUpon stream.

The company says it has shifted its focus to build a new discovery platform, called Mix, with the lessons learned from StumbleUpon. Mix relies on collections that users scroll through, instead of spontaneous discovery.

StumbleUpon users had until 30 June to transfer their collections to Mix.

Garrett Camp, StumbleUpon founder and CEO of Expa (the firm that owns StumbleUpon and Mix), says: "16 years ago, we started StumbleUpon to help people discover new Web pages. The idea was simple: click a button to find a cool Web page. It was easy and fun.

"Over the years, StumbleUpon has delivered personalised content to over 40 million users, serving up nearly 60 billion stumbles. StumbleUpon pioneered content discovery on the Web, before the concepts of the 'like button', 'news feed' or 'social media' were mainstream."

Camp says the number of people with Internet access has grown nearly tenfold since he started StumbleUpon, and there has been a huge rise in smartphone ownership and social media usage.

"The number of platforms to share or host content has increased significantly, yet we still need better tools to help us filter through the exploding amount of content on the Web, and find signal within the noise. And we've learned from StumbleUpon that while simplicity and serendipity is important, so is enabling contextual curation (ie, 'cool space photos') instead of just clicking 'I like it'.

"Recently, Expa has been focused on creating a new discovery platform, which incorporates all of the lessons learned from StumbleUpon to take content discovery to the next level. combines social and semantic personalisation into one streamlined experience. It also makes it easier for people to organise content into meaningful collections. This will help you find obscure but interesting content that has been recommended by people you know and trust."

He says all StumbleUpon accounts will be moved over to Mix, and the new platform will work on every browser and smartphone.

"Creating StumbleUpon has been an amazing experience. It was the first project I worked on back in college in 2002. I have personally clicked the stumble button hundreds of thousands of times, and learned a lot in the process. But it's now time to focus on the future, and create the next discovery platform that will uncover hidden gems we would never think to search for," says Camp.

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