You may not have come across StumbleUpon yet. 15 million have so far and are not afraid to sing its praises. StumbleUpon is a discovery engine that helps users find the best the web has to offer through recommendations from friends and those of a like-mind. In some ways its usefulness has been limited by the narrowness of its remit which has so far restricted its search content to 500 specific topics or thereabouts. However, things have just changed for the better, certainly if you’re a signed-up subscriber. StumbleUpon has just released its new application called ‘Explore Box’. This new application will bring a more dynamic, search engine-like functionality to the platform and promises to deliver relevant and interesting community-endorsed content when ever you now search for a specific word or search term.
So what are the benefits of this new application? Will it help StumbleUpon extend its influence and capture a whole new and enthusiastic sector of the market? Well, according to Marc Leibowitz, StumbleUpon’s vice president of Business Development and Marketing, it certainly will. Speaking in an interview with Venture Beat, a technology and social media news website, Leibowitz was bullish, claiming: “can we do for discovery what others have done for search? Well yes we can. We think there’s a big opportunity out there.”
One of the many intentions behind Explore Box is to open up StumbleUpon to a whole new audience of people that would like to use the site in different ways, according to Leibowitz. The more people who start to use the site, the more diverse its nature will become. The thinking is that by involving more people, the site’s discovery ability will improve and develop over time.
StumbleUpon’s senior production manager, Xian Ke explained the philosophy behind the new Explore Box application in a recent company blog:
“StumbleUpon’s 500+ topics have been a great way for millions of people to find inspiration, entertainment, and delight by uncovering hidden gems on the Web. But as you’ve told us, sometimes you want to explore more specific interests than these topics allow. With the Explore Box, we’re making it easier than ever to navigate within your world of interests.”
“Hundreds of thousands of interests are now waiting to be explored. For example, let’s say you need some ideas for this weekend’s barbecue. Type “grilling” into the Explore Box, and we’ll inspire you with mouth-watering photos recommended by grilling aficionados, and delight you with recipes that will make you the star of the party. Or, maybe you’re curious about rock climbing and want to learn more about whether it’s for you. Just type in “rock climbing” to stumble through tips on getting started and ideas to motivate you.”
Whether you’re interested in Lady Gaga, Mad Men, ways to save money, or ideas for your future visit to Machu Picchu, we’ll help you discover something surprising, informative and entertaining!”
A beta version of the Explore Box feature is available on StumbleUpon’s web app now. Mobile versions, which have become of increasing interest to the company, will get the Explore Box functionality with a month or so, according to StumbleUpon’s Director of Communications, Mike Mayzel.