Either the new StumbleUpon web-bar is busted, or everyone is misreporting a simple advertisement as the new hot feature…

So, I saw this post this morning, noting that StumbleUpon is doing this new thing where you don’t need the toolbar. Except, I cannot find any evidence of this anywhere on StumbleUpon’s actual site, which still prominently says “Get the StumbleUpon Toolbar” and still says “Join and Download Now” when you are signing up for a new account.

Also, when I tried actually using this brand new feature on the site, it was clear that it was faking it and that it right now is just an advertisement for StumbleUpon. Maybe they are planning on going toolbar-less, but right now there is no way to sync the Stumbling you do using the web-bar (which in the URL is listed as /demo/) and it doesn’t recognize you even if you are logged in already as I was. Here’s some pictures to illustrate:

StumbleUpon advertisement pretends it is a functional web-bar

StumbleUpon advertisement pretends it is a functional web-bar

Notice that I'm logged in and the bar is oblivious to that fact

Notice that I'm logged in and the bar is oblivious to that fact

I mean, granted, StumbleUpon *could* be getting totally hammered as a result of this announcement and the web-bar is malfunctioning, but to me it looks like a couple of bloggers fell for a marketing pitch and mistook it for a new hot feature, thought they saw something they didn’t, didn’t really investigate thoroughly, and totally misreported what’s really going on. Take note that the last blog post on the official StumbleUpon blog is dated September 19th, talks about friends in StumbleUpon, and features a nice screenshot of the same old toolbar. That should be a strong hint.

UPDATE: By the looks of TechMeme, a lot of people got this story wrong by doing the “me too” thing.

‘NOTHER UPDATE: I was chatting with David Chartier who wrote up this post at Ars about the story. He says that StumbleUpon PR is saying that eventually they will have a javascript toolbar so you won’t need the extension, BUT the current javascript toolbar doesn’t really function as anything other than a tour of the service. So, right now, it’s just an ad that ends in registration and download of the toolbar when you click SAVE NOW. If you don’t click SAVE NOW, then you had some fun but your ratings most likely disappeared into the ether. That’s the detail I’m seeing missing from a lot of the news about this.

About C.K. Sample III

I am a father, a husband, a blogger, a parrot owner, a pug owner, and the VP of Technology/Engineering for Chaotic Moon. This site has no comments. If you want to talk to me, send me an @cksample on Twitter. If you like this post, feel free to send me a micropayment via Bitcoin.
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