StumbleUpon, one of the web’s most popular site-discovery social tools, has overhauled its app for iPad. The most notable new feature is the app’s new Social Bar, which is StumbleUpon’s attempt to make the Stumbling experience a bit less about content, and more about social networking.
The app lets you hit a button to view a somewhat random web site, selected based on your preferences and your contacts. The Social Bar is at the top of each page that you stumble. It displays a user who has also liked the page. The avatar of someone you follow will show up here if he or she has liked the page. If no one you follow has previously liked this content, StumbleUpon will introduce (recommend) someone new that you might be interested in following. You can then take a look at the corresponding StumbleUpon profile to explore this person further.
The idea is to connect people algorithmically “who might never meet in the real world.” The company has reportedly received feedback from users who say they want to see what their friends are liking, so the new iPad feature is StumbleUpon’s response.
Other new features in the new app include a dedicated “recommend for you” list, which displays photo thumbs for your interests and people you follow. Links to news, videos and more multimedia have replaced the long sidebar of categories. Instead of hitting the Stumble button, you can just swipe the iPad’s 10″ screen.