The wildly popular Firefox extension StumbleUpon released this morning a toolbar for Internet Explorer users. The service lets you browse around web sites that have been recommended by friends and other users with interests similar to your own. Users can also write reviews of sites. The end result is a very compelling user experience that’s likely to explode now that it’s working with the market dominant browser.
Lead by Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith and Justin LaFrance, the company has received investments from Google board member Ram Shriram, Lotus founder Mitch Kapor and several others. Pages targetted to users in certain locations and demographic groups are displayed at most once to each user and a cost of 5 cents per targeted visitor. Pages for which display is paid are clearly marked.
The company told me that there are now an average of 2.3 million pages viewed through StumbleUpon daily. There have been 2.3 million downloads to date of the FireFox extension and 6 million sites have been reviewed through the system. Fourteen languages are supported. The company was featured in the TechCrunch sponsored Connected Innovators showcase at SuperNova.
This is exactly the kind of thing that’s likely to make the web fun again for many people – and including support for IE is key. I know that I find plenty of high quality content through RSS feeds, TechMeme, Digg, etc. but for most of the world StumbleUpon is going to fill a serious need for group-selected high-quality content and online community. I’m sure I’ll make time to play with it more too.