Data: StumbleUpon Beats Facebook As Top Social Referrer

Facebook and Twitter are getting most of the ink, attention and money of late in the social media world. However StatCounter indicates that the venerable StumbleUpon has now become a larger social media referrer than either Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s the data, showing StumbleUpon with a 43 percent share of social media referrals, while Facebook has 38 percent according to StatCounter:


Source: StatCounter Global Stats – Social Media Market Share

This may be momentary or it may hold up over time. But it’s a surprise. Webmasters, agencies/marketers and developers: are you seeing trends consistent with these data?


Related Topics: Channel: Social | Facebook | Search Engines: Social Search Engines | StumbleUpon


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • VasserPro

    This is pretty easy to believe. When I go on stumbleupon, I will go to a huge number of sites looking for something interesting (which I must admit I almost ALWAYS do).

    So it’s a great way to get visibility, I think, because it’s kind of like browsing the shelves instead of just looking at the advertisements. It counts for a lot of views, but not necessarily purchases.

  • Ciarán Norris

    I’m sorry, but I simply don’t believe this.

    Obviously Statcounter wouldn’t release faulty data, but I don;t believe it’s a true picture. I’d guess that it’s due to the types of sites that use Statcounter, plus, potentially, a geographic slant. I’d suggest it’s similar in nature to the way that Alexa used to rank Matt Cutts’ site as being almost the same size as

    Lies, damned lies & statistics.

  • dstiehr

    not a great comparison because SU, FB, and Twitter (and the brands participating on them) all encourage consumers to behave differently from platform to platform. My only real goal for an SU user is to get them to come to my site, and I think the platform is set up to encourage that moreso than FB or Twitter.

    On FB, so many brands are containing the entire advertising experience within their FB page that the goal isn’t really to get them to leave that page (and we know FB does not want to push anyone out of the walled garden). How often do you see promotions that reside only on FB pages and don’t promote the actual brand’s site at all? It’s more and more prevalent everyday. I may not want anyone to leave my FB page; I might have it set up to play a game or print a coupon right there.

    And a good Twitter experience with a customer can come in the form of dialogue between a consumer and a brand within the Twitter platform. A positive engagement there can mean as much to my brand as an actual visit to my site. Not having the consumer make it to the site directly from Twitter is by no means a failure or shortcoming. Not to mention that who knows if the many URL shortening services out there might be causing referral misattribution in a study like this.

    point is SU by nature is designed both from SU’s perspective and a marketer’s perspective to be a referral source, whereas FB and Twitter are an engagement platform in and of themselves that don’t rely on or necessarily promote referrals as vigorously.

  • Keith Brown

    This brings up some good conversations, as social sharing icons are now becoming standard on blogs and websites. Would you rather a user stumble, like, or tweet your page? Hands down the winner in my book is stumble. I would trade a fan page with 2,000 fans for 1 new stumble a day from an outside user. Facebook is not a portal to a website, it is an alternative. Fan pages and news feeds give people all the tools they need to interact and share without leaving that domain. What incentive do you give a user to go to the source and comment when they can just comment on the facebook post or like it. Stumble is truly still a portal in every since of the word, and the numbers back it up.

    Great post Greg!

  • Paul David Olson

    Nope. This data is junk. I explain why here:

    Refresh the graph for today and Facebook is already beating SU. 3 days of data doesn’t make a month.

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