Last week, Mashable published an article titled, 4 Free Apps for Discovering Great Content on the Go (http://on.mash.to/h1lKrr). Their top recommendation was StumbleUpon’s app. StumbleUpon has been around for 10 years, but just launched their app last year. The basic premise of the site is that it serves up articles that you will find interesting based upon the areas of interest that you select when creating your profile. You build your profile by consistently giving the content thumbs up or down, resulting in more tailored suggestions as time goes on.
I was able to find and download the app without any issues, but registering was another story. At first, I was happy to see that you could easily register by using Facebook connect. I love this feature. It eliminates the need to fill out lengthy forms, one of my biggest pet peeves on a mobile site or app. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I tried several times and kept getting an error message. So, I went ahead and registered the long way.
To start “stumbling” on content, the app suggests seeing what your friends are reading. There are several ways to do this. The first is to connect with your Facebook account. I tried that, and got another error message. The next option was to scan through the contacts that are stored on my phone. I was told that 26 of my friends were already users. Great! The app directed me, “Tap ‘follow’ to see enable sharing.” This sounds easy enough, but I couldn’t find a follow button anywhere. All I could see was an Invite All button to get my other contacts to register for the site. So I wasn’t able to see what my friends were reading via my contacts book or Facebook. That meant that in order to get the all rolling, I had to go in and start manually selecting areas of interest. This is not something that I was excited about doing from my phone, so I gave up and went to the desktop site for that step.
Once I selected my interests, the experience worked fairly well. I went back to my app and started going through suggested content. I got a few interesting articles, funny videos and cool pictures. The app functionality was intuitive and I was giving content the thumbs up and down and emailing stuff to friends with ease.
I am pretty confident that I’ll enjoy and use this app now that I have it all set up. Obviously, the registration and connect functionality could be improved upon to make for a better user experience. That being said, I frequently use my mobile phone for entertainment when I’m killing time. The purpose of the StumbleUpon is a no-brainer for mobile users.