At The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, StumbleUpon, the veteran content discovery platform, will be announcing “its first major integration with Android,” says Co-founder Garrett Camp. What does that mean? Well, nearly as we can tell, Google is calling on a handful of apps at MWC to showcase the new integration possibilities (with Google+ and other Google products) that are part of Android 4.0 — otherwise known as Ice Cream Sandwich. Android will be featuring (promoting) StumbleUpon at MWC, thanks to some new updates to its Android app that go live today.
For some quick background, in October, StumbleUpon brought its tablet experience to Android, and then not long after, pushed a major redesign, in which it offered a new streamlined user experience, improvements to its recommendation algorithms, as well as the introduction of brand channels.
StumbleUpon is endeavoring to add a level of serendipity into the way people discover content on the Web, by way of its “Stumble” button, which takes users to random (yet personalized) articles, blog entries, etc. that can be specified by topic, like “Technology or “Arts,” for example. Introducing brand channels allows users to follow, say, ESPN so that when clicking “Stumble,” users begin seeing ESPN in their sports content.
Today, all these updates, including brand channels and the streamlined interface, will officially be rolled out across StumbleUpon’s mobile apps, on iPhone and iPad, Android, NOOK Color and Kindle Fire. Of course, with StumbleUpon’s new partnership with Google/Android, Ice Cream Sandwich users will now be able to take advantage of some cool new features unique to the OS. (You can download the updated Android app here.)
This means that users of StumbleUpon’s Android app can take advantage of Android Beam to share any content they discover on the app to other NFC-enabled devices running ICS. The app will also feature the Android Action Bar, allowing users to explore the Web via the Android navigation interface.
Also of note: StumbleUpon will have a resizable widget on your device’s homescreen, which means that users can preview the service’s content right from the homescreen, without having to launch the app. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Google OS if, in addition to enabling users to share on Facebook, Twitter, etc., it didn’t include a sharing button for G+. And, for that matter, StumbleUpon users can now sign in directly with their Google/Gmail login — on any Android device, or on the desktop.
This is part of StumbleUpon’s latest push to capitalize on its growing usage on mobile, as the number of Stumbles grew 800 percent last year, and have been growing 35 percent month-over-month over the last quarter. Right now, mobile accounts for 25 percent of the app’s total “Stumbles,” but the team expects that to grow significantly over the next six months, and obviously they expect that easy Gmail sign-in will give them a boost on Android phones and tablets.
It could be big for StumbleUpon, which is now seeing 1.2 billion Stumbles per month across platforms, and has over 20 million registered users. As for plans going forward, StumbleUpon Director of Communications Mike Mayzel tells us that the company will be focusing on three main buckets: Mobile, international, and syndication (through launching its APIs). While the first two are fairly straightforward, more of a unified presence on mobile, and a higher focus on international markets, the last means that StumbleUpon wants to bring its serendipitous content discovery mechanism to your website — to allow your visitors to Stumble onto your best content.
For more, check out StumbleUpon at home here.