The StumbleUpon blog has officially announced that the social bookmarking site is no longer a part of eBay. SU was acquired by eBay sometime in 2007 for $74 million and except for some minor site changes, StumbleUpon just lived on its own, gathering a significant number of followers.
According the Official StumbleUpon blog, the site’s ownership is now back to founder Garrett Camp and co-founder Geoff Smith together with some private investors.
An official press release stumbled upon by Kara of All Things D explains the reason for the buy-back as:
We are grateful to eBay for its guidance. However, we realized there were few long-term synergies between the two businesses. It is best for us to part ways and focus on our respective strengths,” said Camp. “This change makes it possible for StumbleUpon to continue to innovate and focus on becoming the Web’s largest recommendation service.”
StumbleUpon’s Garrett Camp hopes to reengineer the site into becoming the web’s largest recommendation engine and getting back SU from eBay is the only way the site could get back to its feet.
With a bright future up ahead for SU, expect the social bookmarking/social recommendation niche to come alive again. Digg just got some media hype when it released its controversial toolbar. Both Twitter and Facebook are also being used as a recommendation site of sorts by its members . Delicious, Technorati and the SEO-specific Sphinn as well as other social bookmarking/recommendation sites are all alive and kicking.
Let’s see how StumbleUpon can get back on its feet and re-establish itself as a force to contend with in this social niche. A StumbleUpon iPhone app could be good start perhaps?