Apparently, StumbleUpon will be throwing the switch on some major changes soon, and changing how users interact with the service. The software toolbar will no longer be necessary (they had better keep it though!), some new options for publishers will be introduced, etc.
On Tuesday night StumbleUpon is changing the way users interact with the service, ditching the need for a software-based browser toolbar in place of a small frame that loads on top of the Web site you’re on. Users with the toolbar installed will still be getting the same experience, but the idea is that anyone can begin stumbling without having to install anything.
To get the Web toolbar to show up in the first place, users must now begin their stumbling experience from the StumbleUpon home page. The site is now broken up into categories. Once you’ve clicked on a link the experience begins, with the persistent toolbar following you from site to site and keeping track of your ratings to provide you with new stumbles.
You can read the full article over at CNET: StumbleUpon 2.0: Good-bye, software toolbar.
I have a few concerns about this…
- While they say “Users with the toolbar installed will still be getting the same experience,” can they assure us that they will never drop toolbar support? It’s what makes the service unique, and a frame-based page (frames, really? This is 2008!) can’t even hope to be as functional. And the toolbar should not be de-emphasized in any way.
To me it seems like they’re trying to a) drive more traffic to StumbleUpon.com, probably so they can better monetize the service, and b) help out the publishers a bit by spreading the stumbles around more.
I think that their changes will really improve the service, and get more people Stumblin’.