StumbleUpon has been stumbling as of late to reclaim its former glory. In the wake of curation services and their Web dominance, there’s been some new competition in the content discovery market, though it’s managed to retain a community of 25 million users. But now StumbleUpon is updating things with a revamped, Pinterest-inspired look.
There have been a few changes over at StumbleUpon in the wake of CEO, Garrett Camp, resigning from his executive position to take his place as the new StumbleUpon chairman. Despite the empty CEO role, StumbleUpon’s mobile iOS apps were redesigned to offer a sleeker, easier to use interface — while at the same time, its last desktop redesign in December 2011 didn’t sit well with users and instigated something of a mass exodus. The company at the time implemented a new channels feature that would enable users to follow brands, celebrities, and media on StumbleUpon, but just six months after the announcement the feature was scrapped.
With this latest redesign, StumbleUpon takes inspiration from its iOS app and some of the features from the mobile version. From first glance, you’ll recognize the Pinterest-like layout on the homepage that showcases content tailored to your interest in tiles, something implemented in the previous iteration.
StumbleUpon has also added color coordination tiles for interest categories like music, arts, and writing. But among its more significant feature updates is an “Activity” tab where you can view content shared to Facebook or Twitter, including content that you’ve liked and content that the top tier of StumbleUpon users recommend.
Other curated tabs include trending content, where you can view buzzed about pages, and “Lists,” where in a manner similar to Bitly’s bitmark list you can cherry pick content into collections or lists. Making lists are not necessarily specific for bookmarking your favorite content. In fact in its blog post, StumbleUpon encourages its users to create “pages to save for later, gifts you’d like to receive, or photos of places to visit.” Yes — it’s a very Pinterest-like scheme.
Perhaps what’s most interesting about the new StumbleUpon is that the app will include a breakdown of how much each interest category plays into a list that you’ve create — which the site called the “StumbleUpon DNA.” StumbleUpon wants to increase the time that its users spend engaging with (not just skimming) content via the site, and this new emphasis on social discovery is a natural progression.
“With the enhancement to our site we have really created a jumping off point for Stumbling. The layout, design and navigation of the site in this iteration is built to optimize for quick scanning and quick access to content. We want the content to pop off the page. We have also introduced new ways to Stumble with Activity and Trending, and new ways to express yourself with StumbleDNA and Lists. We are excited about introducing this to our community and to all new Stumblers who will give it a try for the first time,” Cody Simms, VP Product at StumbleUpon, told Digital Trends.
The update hasn’t been pushed to StumbleUpon.com, but you can access the beta by selecting the gear tab on the navigation bar. There you should see the tab for “Settings,” and then you can navigate to “Labs” to join the new StumbleUpon Beta.