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StumbleUpon Builds Relationships with Advertisers



Jack Krawczyk
Senior Product Marketing Manager
StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon, a social discovery site, is in the midst of a resurgence after introducing a paid ad platform and unveiling a site redesign in 2011. Jack Krawczyk, senior product marketing manager, and Mike Mayzel, director of communications, spoke to eMarketer’s Kimberly Maul about the site’s redesign, how brands can get involved with the site and the trend of discovery in 2012.

eMarketer: Tell me about the user experience for StumbleUpon. What is new with the redesign that happened in December 2011?

Jack Krawczyk: StumbleUpon is a service for users to find and discover content that is entertaining, inspiring or educational. Users turn to us to really find those things. We generate over 1.2 billion referrals per month.

“Discovery is a really important thing right now. There's lots of information out there; people are getting overloaded.”

Mike Mayzel: We think discovery is a really important thing right now. There’s lots of information out there; people are getting overloaded. With the redesign, we wanted to make the new StumbleUpon a simpler, easier and more engaging experience, and also give our users more ways to explore.

eMarketer: Where do your users come from, and what are they interested in?

Mayzel: Well, 85% of our users are from North America, which is pretty interesting if you compare that to other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, who are flip-flopped the other way: 60% or 70% are international. We do have a presence in a lot of the English-speaking countries around the world. We haven't really focused on the global market until recently. In 2012, we plan on doing a focused rollout globally.

As far as categories, our users are excited about humor, videos, photos, travel, food, cooking and those types of categories. The visual categories do well for us.

eMarketer: From a user perspective, what sets StumbleUpon apart? Why are users coming to your site instead of going to Facebook or Twitter?

Krawczyk: There is no stress to using our platform. When you log in to a lot of other services, you’re forced to see 10 links, 20 links on the screen. Users think, “I have to scroll through [all of them], I have to like [something].” On StumbleUpon, we’ll do the stress relief for you. There’s one button that you press: the “stumble” button. Users click it and we give them something that there’s a pretty good chance that they’ll like.

“We do really well with the folks who aren't Type A, who like that feeling of serendipity, of pressing a button and saying, ‘Oh, this is really cool. This is really interesting.’”

We do really well with the folks who aren't Type A, who like that feeling of serendipity, of pressing a button and saying, “Oh, this is really cool. This is really interesting.” Our average page view is about 60 seconds, and so we use that as a guide to say the longer that people are spending with pieces of content that we recommend, we pretty much figure that they like it more.

eMarketer: This theme of discovery, and users going to sites like StumbleUpon and Pinterest to find things that interest them, is that a theme that you see going forward in 2012?

Krawczyk: Oh, 110%. One of the crazy things about digital marketing is that we’ve really nailed the demand-fulfillment side of things. Mike and I both come from Google, where we were working on that problem for years, and I’m pretty confident saying that we’ve nailed demand fulfillment. What we haven’t really figured out as digital marketers is the demand-generation side of things.

We are going all in on the concept of discovery, because we think it is something that users have a clear need for. We know that people like to consume content, but there are so many disparate ways that they’re doing it right now. By combining both the social and the interest graphs, we’re providing our community of users the ability to do that in a stress-free environment. Then, ultimately, what people do when they discover great content is they go out and share it, and that’s how it proliferates in the social sphere.

A longer version of this interview is available to eMarketer Total Access clients only. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a Total Access client, click here.

Check out today’s other articles, “Total Worldwide Social Network Ad Revenues Continue Strong Growth” and “Ecommerce Booming in Australia.”

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