StumbleUpon has been having somewhat of an identity crisis for the past months and is now in the process of reinventing itself as a social search engine. A big part of this transformation is the new design it revealed earlier this month, bringing quite a few changes to the look and feel but, more importantly, to the functionality. Now it's ready to roll out the new design, still in beta, to all users to give them a chance to get familiar with the new layout but also to iron out any remaining kinks.
“Starting today, we are giving all existing members a chance to try out the new StumbleUpon interface. We want to ensure everyone has time to get familiarized with the new look and feel, before the final switchover. If you logged in to your StumbleUpon account today and things look different, you are seeing the new and improved StumbleUpon, designed to be simpler, more social and searchable,” StumbleUpon announced on the official blog. “For the next month or so, you will be able to switch back and forth between the old and the new look.”
Along with the emphasis on search and the shift in the way users are encouraged to take advantage of the resources, the new StumbleUpon also adds a few changes to the social components. Many of the features have gotten renamed to make their purpose clearer but also to get them in line with the changes that affect their functionality. For example, Friends are now called Mutual Subscribers and they have been merged into the Subscriptions section under Stumblers. Those who users were friends with before will sport a “two-way” icon under their avatar to signal that they can share stories both ways.
In the same vein, the Favorites tab is now called “All” and contains all of the sites the user has “thumbed up.” The “What's New” page is now “Recent Activity” and features real-time updates on the activity of those that users subscribed to. The new design is now enabled by default for all users but they can still switch to the old one using the link on the homepage. This will be possible for about a month after which time the new design will become mandatory.