All told, 16 years is a pretty good run in the social media world. After launching in 2002, website discovery platform StumbleUpon is shutting down on June 30. Over its existence, the service racked up 60 billion stumbles for 40 million users, cofounder Garrett Camp wrote in a Medium post this week.
Those of us who wrote for sites at the height of the tool’s power know it was capable of driving a tremendous amount of traffic in its prime. One of StumbleUpon’s greatest strengths was its simplicity, offering up content with a single click. But Camp notes in his post that its simplicity was ultimately its detriment in the ever-changing online world.
eBay bought the service for a reported $75 million in 2007, but failed to keep it relevant. In 2013, the service underwent significant layoffs, allowing Camp to buy a majority share two years later.
“Since starting SU the number of people with internet access has grown nearly 10x, and mobile phones and social media have changed our lives. 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 SU that while simplicity and serendipity is important, so is enabling contextual curation.”
Those lessons, it seems, will be informing Camp’s product, Mix.com — as will StumbleUpon’s use base. Existing StumbleUpon accounts will be transitioned to Mix ahead of the June 30 deadline.