StumbleUpon, that’s quite an old web brand now, is best known for its content discovery service. It helps introducing new and interesting websites to the web surfers. Recently, it has been in news for taking an initiative to make its app more relevant for the mobile world. In its update to the iOS app out in the market, the company is introducing social chatting.
Although, the chatting feature is one of the many other improvements to the newly overhauled app, it probably deserves the most attention. Following this feature, when you find a webpage you want to share, you can simply tap on fellow StumbleUpon user’s name to start a conversation about the web page in question right within the app.
Each user you’re sharing the webpage with is represented by a nice rounded, profile photo icon right above the comment field. Also, you may add text and share your experience which feels more like you’re beginning a conversation than simply posting a link.
To add more to the experience, there is a new “Activity Center” now where you can find the web pages that others have shared with you; basically, it will keep track of all the new shares as well as follower notifications.
The main idea behind this change is apparently to make StumbleUpon feel more like a social app or a communication platform, rather than just a content discovery service. This readily makes sense as you’ll find that the most popular apps on users’ devices are none other than the social networking apps or those built around media consumption; and this new aspect is designed in a way to bring upon the features of both of them.
Although the users could share their discoveries through messaging earlier, this change will keep them engaged within the app; they’ll keep on returning to check notifications, or reply to the comments. This might be a step in regard to overcome the competition being posed by the big social media channels like Facebook and Twitter which are literally dominating the link-sharing process and also Digg and Reditt which are ruling link recommendation.
There is also a support for custom lists in the updated app. Moreover, the new navigation puts likes, interests and followers just a tap away. There is an updated user interface and various other speed improvements.
Though social chatting is actually a big move, the company still needs to do a lot more to re-establish itself as a brand that is capable of making the mobile transition without a loose. The iOS app ranks consistently high in the Entertainment category, typically in the top 100 or 200, but is hasn’t yet ranked on the Top Overall charts since this spring. And to be honest enough, the change would make it more of a social app than entertainment; and, social is a comparatively difficult category to compete in.