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StumbleUpon will shut down as founder moves tech to a new app


Social discovery platform StumbleUpon will stop suggesting personalized web pages after 16 years but the essence of the social discovery platform is slated for a second life at Mix, another platform created by the same founders. In a post on Wednesday, May 23, Garrett Camp, one of the platform’s co-founders, announced that the StumbleUpon will become part of Mix, ceasing to exist on its own, after June 30.

Camp, now working as the founder of Expa, says that Mix is both social and semantic personalization that builds on StumbleUpon’s foundation. StumbleUpon users can import their accounts into Mix, which will save favorites, interests, and tags.

Mix, which launched less than a year ago, has a similar focus on finding interesting and relevant content across the web. Rather than a newsfeed, Mix allows readers to swipe through the articles on the app. While the content that pops up is based on similar concepts to StumbleUpon, Camp says Mix uses both semantics and social factors to determine what content each user sees. For example, the semantics can pick up the meaning behind a “cool photos” comment without actually using a like button to tell the algorithm to show more similar content.

“Creating StumbleUpon has been an amazing experience,” Camp wrote. “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.”

Some 40 million people have used StumbleUpon since the platform’s beginnings in 2002 to find around 60 billion stumbles. The platform was popular in the first several years with a unique concept before likes and newsfeeds were standard social features. At one point, StumbleUpon drove half of the social traffic on the web. The site was popular enough to attract the attention of eBay in a 2007 acquisition, but StumbleUpon was later sold back to the founders. The platform and Mix are now owned by Expa, a startup accelerator. Camp, who started StumbleUpon with Geoff Smith, Justin LaFrance, and Eric Boyd, is an Expa founder.

“Since starting SU the number of people with internet access has grown nearly 10x, and mobile phones and social media have changed our lives,” Camp wrote. “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.”

The transition is slated to continue over the next few months, with the StumbleUpon website listing June 30 as the official date for the move.

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