Joe Whyte pinged me this morning to tell me that StumbleUpon has removed the audience rank feature. For those of you who don’t know, the audience rank was a way to tell how many people stumble upon your favorite sites.
I have been missing my audience rank for about 3 days now. I started to get very suspicious of this so I started asking around. It looks like Stumble Upon has taken a page out of the book of digg and started removing factors that allow you to gauge your rank and profile power within stumble upon.
Mine was actually just removed this morning as I distinctly remember looking at it last night. Unfortunately, I can no longer use my large audience number as bragging rights.
This is at least the second feature that StumbleUpon has removed lately it what looks like an attempt to thwart people from trying to game the service. I can definitely see why this makes sense from StumbleUpon’s perspective but at the same time I also feel like this could actually hurt them.
While it may cause stumblers to focus more on genuine stumbling activity, taking away the point systems discourages people from actively participating to becoming more popular. It’s the whole game mechanics theory that I’m talking about.
What do you think – Is this a step in the right direction for StumbleUpon?