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We’re big fans of Stumbleupon here at Amplify. Not only is it essentially a way to “channel-surf” the Internet when you have some free moments and you wish to discover some great stuff on the web, but we also use it as a tool to help expand the visibility of our client’s quality work as well as our own.

Well, we recently learned that Stumbleupon is making some big changes to their service. The big three changes:

Removing Groups

Groups in Stumbleupon were easy ways to join communities of like-minded individuals who had the same interests that you had. We also liked groups to be able to recommend content to people that would find that content useful. Well, groups will be visible up until October 24th. After that, they will be permanently removed from the site.

Removing Themes

While Stumbleupon didn’t have a whole heck of a lot of profile customization to begin with, they will be removing the ability for users to use different themes for their profile, instead opting for a default theme that is a white background with black type. While I get Stumbleupon is all about stumbling across the web, removing customization choices for people takes away any kind of personalization of their profile.

Removing HTML / Blogging Functionality

After October 24th, Stumbleupon will be removing all HTML and blogging functionality. What was created before that will still exist, however it will be in plain text format. So if you want to blog about anything, make sure to do it in the next four weeks or so.

This is the opposite of where Facebook & Google+ are going

It seems like groups are all the rage right now: you see Facebook incorporating groups now more than ever and Google+ is liked due to the way people can group people with Circles. Stumbleupon is removing groups. Seems like the opposite, doesn’t it?

Additionally, with Facebook’s recently announced timeline feature, they’re allowing greater customization of a user’s profile page. Google+ has decent customization of a user’s profile page and I can only assume that they’ll be expanding the customization of it. Stumbleupon is removing profile customization. Again, opposite of what Facebook & Google Plus are doing.

Stumbleupon states that they’re making these changes to “focus on improving the discovery experience for you” and that “…we know some of you have enjoyed having these features, but we believe that these changes will allow us to better focus on making stumbling amazing for you.” How does stumbling get better than it is, already? I’ve selected my interests and you serve me pages that others that share my interests have thumbs-upped.

It’ll be interesting to see just how Stumbleupon will be improving their stumbling for users. Stumbleupon users: what are your thoughts on the changes?

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