Web discovery service StumbleUpon has just overtaken Facebook as the No. 1 source for social media traffic in the U.S., according to analytics site Statcounter. StumbleUpon accounted for about 43% of the U.S. social media traffic on January 1st, while Facebook accounted for about 38%.
“StumbleUpon just surpassed Facebook as the #1 source of social media traffic in the US!,” said StumbleUpon CEO Garret Camp on Twitter yesterday.
Statcounter tracks 15 billion page views on the Web per month on more than three million websites. Among social media sites, it tracks the top seven, including Stumbleupon and Facebook, as well as Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Myspace and Digg.
Just last year during the same period, StumbleUpon made up 30% of the traffic, while Facebook had 48%. But, as a recent Atlantic article reported, the growth in online sharing with StumbleUpon outpaced Facebook in 2010.
Stumbleupon is well known for its ability to drive huge numbers of visitors to websites that have been “Stumbled”, sending users to different websites that have been marked with with a “Thumbs Up” by other users, in effect vouching for the target website and deeming it legitimate and a decent source of information.
What’s interesting is how StumbleUpon’s comparatively smaller user base — 13 million compared to Facebook’s 550 million users — generates more traffic than world’s largest social network.
It’s important to note, however, that StumbleUpon may generate a lot of traffic for other websites, but that does not necessarily mean it gets a lot of traffic for its own.
Great news for Stumbleupon but the figures need additional context. Over the Christmas period, Facebook became the most popular website in the UK for the first time, knocking Google’s UK search portal from top spot.
We later reported that Facebook beat Google to top spot as the most visited website worldwide, according to the Internet tracking firm Experian Hitwise.
Statcounter does track an average of 15 billion page views per month on more than 3 million websites, and we think that it’s enough to accurately confirm that Stumbleupon is receiving more social media traffic than Facebook in the U.S.