When betaworks acquired Digg a month ago many folks were confident that they had the right attitude, team and environment to resurrect the failing site. Today that dream died when the new Digg was officially launched. The betaworks team worked for six weeks to rebuild the site form scratch, and it shows.
New Digg v1 comes without user profiles, all user history is absent, no Digg login exists (only Facebook,) no commenting is allowed and users have to submit a link via Facebook or Twitter. Digg, the slowly dying social news site can now officially be pronounced. Digg is dead.
The new Digg is merely just another Twitter/Facebook aggregator. Digg counts are nearly all made up of Tweets or Facebook mentions. Instead of rebuilding a passionate Reddit-like community, the new Digg appears to be content with leaning on outside social data to power the site. The majority of “popular” stories have nearly all votes coming from external social sources like this example:
The Verge reports that the new Digg will be editorially driven, curated content stating:
The front page of Digg will also be editorially driven instead of entirely based on a Digg score algorithm.
Digg was news for the people by the people, it was what made the site great. Without the ability for users to submit and choose what’s popular, the site is no longer social news. Launching without the ability to comment drives home the utter lack of social.
Lastly, all previous user data is non-existent on the site. Instead of building a location for users to interact, users are required to sign-in via Facebook, yet stories show the names of Twitter accounts:
Social news sites like Reddit thrive due to the communities they build, and new Digg v1 is community-less. With the new launch, Digg has become another curated social network aggregator … and officially irrelevant.