StumbleUpon has released new information about the level of activity that’s added to a link when shared through its content discovery service.

StumbleUpon’s service lets people discover and share new web content based on a broad spectrum of categories. Users click a “stumble” button to discover new content, and then have the option of voting and commenting on the selection.

On average, the company said a link shared through StumbleUpon gets 83 percent more “likes” on Facebook than if shared on Facebook alone — which only yields five percent higher likes. Also, a link’s half-life (the point in time where it accrues half of its total engagement) is 400 hours on StumbleUpon but only 3.2 hours on Facebook, according to the company’s research.

For referral traffic, StumbleUpon beats all other link sharing services like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Digg and LinkedIn, according to data from StatCounter.

“The thing about StumbleUpon that I’ve always noticed is how many really regular, everyday people from all walks of life use it,” said Amy Vernon, VP of strategy and alliances for Hasai. Her company helps advise other businesses and brands about how to boost their social profiles. “My mother-in-law once spent 2.5 hours hitting the stumble button and loved it.”

Vernon said the reach StumbleUpon has is more akin to Facebook than what you see on smaller, more specialized site such as Twitter, Reddit or Digg. However, unlike Facebook, StumbleUpon is “the gift that keeps on giving” in terms of referrals, she added.

“You stumble something, it gets a few hundred or a few thousand views. Great. Six months later, someone else randomly gives that post a thumb up and you find another stream of traffic coming in. That can happen multiple times,” Vernon said.

The below infographic from StumbleUpon shows some of the service’s other statistics.

StumbleUpon was acquired by eBay in 2007, only to be sold back two years later by original founders Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith and Ram Shriram, as well as Accel Partners and August Capital. StumbleUpon now operates as an independent company. The company closed a $17 million round of funding in May 2011 and has raised $18.5 million total funding to date.

[Disclosure: Hasai does contracted marketing work for VentureBeat.]