Services|September 21, 2011| Author: Kim LaCapria|Tags:

StumbleUpon Announces Late-October Changes, Community Flips Out

If there’s anything that’s a basic, unshakable tenet of the internet, it’s that users almost universally do not accept changes to a service with any level of grace or reasonable perspective.

To be fair, when you heavily use a something like a Reddit or a Fark or a Facebook and changes are implemented- it can be a bit of an unpleasant alteration to your online routine, no matter how much notice you have that the new “features” are coming. (For an example, please go over to Facebook right now and browse your news feed.)

StumbleUpon, a sort of aggregator/search engine with some sharing capabilities, is currently in for the “CHANGE IT BACK NOW” treatment from users ahead of an October 24th update to the service. The recently announced service change unsurprisingly has users up in arms- particularly because StumbleUpon seems to be removing some favored features as well as introducing some less-than-popular enhancements in its stated goal to continue “delivering you faster, better and more personalized recommendations, so that each time you click the “Stumble!” button you see more amazing content from across the web! ”

First off, Groups are being 86’d- StumbleUpon promises an export option for group information in coming weeks, but without details, it’s natural that heavily invested users will get a bit tetchy waiting. Another new feature is that all selected themes for the site are being axed, replaced with only a simple black text on white background setup.

Lastly, HTML capabilities are being stripped from reviews, and users have insinuated the site plans on further clipping users wings as far as blogging and photosharing capabilities are concerned. You can read a bit of the feedback over here, but the comments are universally negative, angry and frustrated.

Are you a dedicated StumbleUpon user? What do you think of the changes?

  • Barry

    You may wish to correct your article with reference to themes. The default will be a white background with black text, not white text on a black background.

    Regards.

    • Deb R

      ooooooo…now there’s a BIG difference..we wouldn’t want to confuse people…basic white with black print..yeah..because basic black with white print would edge on being creative..we wouldn’t want that..now would we? i used to think you were awesome Barry…

    • Thanks for clearing that up, Barry. Like it makes any difference. You say tomato, I say, et tu, Brutus

    • Phil Davies

      What a classic. I rarely laugh aloud at Interent comments, but Bazza, you cracked me up with that one.

  • When I received the email, I observed that the changes didn’t really affect me. (My FriendFeed display happens to be black text on a white background, so the new display will feel familiar.)

    However, I’m getting tired of companies making announcements that say “we’re taking away functionality…and we’re doing it to benefit you.”

    I suspect that my preference is a personal one, however. We all say that we value transparency, but if Reed Hastings had come out and said “DVDs are going to die, so we’re bailing out,” the reaction from Netflix users would have been 100 times worse than it was.

  • BNW

    Any use of the term “new feature” in a discussion of these changes is at best a misnomer; more correctly it is an absurdity. These changes, which are a removal of the sites most desirable esthetic appeal; are more akin to slashing the very face of that which makes SU most attractive to it’s most dedicated users.

  • I have been with SU since 2003 with over 600 pages and over 51,000 “likes”. I am distraught as so many others are as well!

    • Deb R

      it sucks ass,doesn’t it? i think worse than them just destroying one of the best sites on the web is their attitude..that arrogant,we’re so brilliant kind of insufferable attitude…i wish all of them at SU exactly what they deserve…always…

  • Deb R

    their decision at SU to “make it better for us” is complete & utter bs…we..as in LOYAL faithful stumblers aren’t a bunch of “tetchy” people..we are individuals who have come to love the place we used to know as our place to be creative,while discovering new content on the web.while some left over the last version (aka Version 4),alot of us stayed while others went to a photo dump spot called tumblr..i stayed..i convinced alot of people to come back & give the new version a try..but this? i’m out of here..Categorian has all the things that SU used to have,minus the groups..perhaps given time,the creator of the site would consider it..all i know is that all the time & creativity that have been put into our blogs means losing all that we had feels even worse..the powers that be could give a rats rear what any of us think..they’ve made that glaringly clear..no matter…one of these days,SU will be like a spammers paradise~

  • Geofffxdwg

    These yuppified clowns at stumble that sold us out, think by selling everyone out that they have a chip in the big game. Just wait until you try to cash it in because the same people that influenced you into insulting the intelligence and integrity of all of us are going to do the same thing to you blind idiots in the very near future.Its very clear that the white background with black text format is designed to eliminate any future competition from stumbleupon to ever amount to anything.Perhaps you can get a bailout right before all of you get outsized.

  • Stumbleupon as a blogging platform is impossible to describe to people who don’t have a natural affinity for it. We are visual, literate, opinionated. First, they cut all the troublemakers. Then they started eroding features that helped users connect. Then they moved feedback to an offsite service that buries responses. Now they are gutting the HTML blog features, to further discourage people from doing anything but pressing the stumble button. Ninety percent of users will never notice, because they never learned how to turn the toolbar into a blogging platform. Those who did created an intensely loyal community. There aren’t enough of us to warrant keeping those features intact, especially since we drag on the focus of stumbling like crack addicted lemmings. Over the edge we go, anyway.

  • Quite frankly I’m very disappointed in the way SU have treated us all

  • I’m a top Stumbler and I’m pissed off about these coming changes.

  • Phil Davies

    What a classic. I rarely laugh aloud at Interent comments, but Bazza, you cracked me up with that one.

  • Phil Davies

    Misplaced comment, now in the right place.

    And as an aside, isn’t it interesting that tumblr, which isn’t removing photoblogging, video embedding, html coding, and is downright encouraging users to CREATE new themes, is set to announce $85 million in new funding.

    And SU? Hmm? How much new funding are they announcing?

  • Jay

    SU changes are a disaster. They will lose hundreds of thousands of users with these foolish and unnecessary changes, I hope their piggy bank is empty when they try to sell the format on . Oink Oink

  • Wcshields

    I’ve hung in there with SU so far, we’ll see.

  • The changes aren’t to make it better with the exception of faster loading pages for slower computers. It’s to reduce cost on bandwidth and disk space needed to provide a free service that is very poorly monetized. Instead of adding a few more ads here and there or reducing price of paid visitor packages to encourage more sales, they are cutting the user end experience and that could do the MySpace thing and lose them 80% of their bread winners. Bad move all around.