Home StumbleUpon’s Web Toolbar Gets Smarter

StumbleUpon’s Web Toolbar Gets Smarter

StumbleUpon, the popular content recommendation service, just launched a major new version of its web toolbar, which brings the StumbleUpon experience to users without having to install a browser extension. The web toolbar is similar to Digg’s DiggBar, and this new and enhanced version features a fully personalized experience as well as enhancements to its sharing features. While the WebToolbar doesn’t quite feature the same functionality as the standard StumbleUpon toolbar, it does make up for this by being a lot more convenient to use, and, of course, you can use it on any computer as you don’t have to install the browser extension to use it.

In terms of functionality, the web toolbar replicates most of the core functions of the browser extension. You can vote stories up or down, choose which channels you want to surf, and email links to your friends. You can also easily access your favorites. The most important new aspect of the toolbar, however, is that whenever you ‘stumble,’ the results will now be personalized and synchronized with your stumbles from the original toolbar.

Stumble in an Iframe

The DiggBar, of course, sparked a lot of controversy though StumbleUpon’s new toolbar does not include a URL shortener. So, unlike the original DiggBar, there is probably little reason to assume that the new StumbleUpon toolbar will steal too much search engine ‘juice,’ even though it uses an iframe to show the original page. As users aren’t likely to share the long StumbleUpon links or use them to link to a site from their own blog, this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. But it should be noted that, as far as we can see, StumbleUpon does not return a canonical link which would tell search engines like Google to ignore the StumbleUpon link and index the original page instead.

We talked to StumbleUpon about this earlier today, and the team there didn’t seem too worried about this, but instead emphasized that the bar was easy enough to close. It should be noted, though, that whenever a StumbleUpon user shares a story by email, the recipient will see the toolbar by default.

Until just a few weeks ago, StumbleUpon was part of eBay, but now, StumbleUpon is once again an independent company after its founders and investors agreed to buy the company back. It’s good to see that the company continues to roll out new products on its roadmap while it is going through yet another transition, though the company is obviously going see a lot of competition from other content discovery services and social networks in the near future.

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