Digg To Re-Launch On August 1st 2012; Will It Be Able to Compete With Facebook and Reddit?


So Digg will be re-launching on Wednesday August 1st with a completely new design and a more image friendly interface (according to the developers at Betaworks). Right now the question on everyone’s mind is will the new redesign and focus make any difference? A reinvented Digg faces massive competition from sites like Reddit, Facebook and even Google+ so how will this new social sharing site fare?

When Digg was first launched is was a hit; maybe not an overnight hit, but it got pretty big very quickly. I can remember when it was a huge push to get the most Diggs and the “DiggIt” icons were popping up on every article, review and website you can think of. Unfortunately (as we have said in the past) Digg made some decisions and changes internally that alienated some site owners and their readers. This allowed other groups to spring up and take the lead from Digg. Of these there are two that own the market for the most part. This is Facebook and Reddit; Facebook works well because site owners can not only share their news articles with a potential 200 Million active users, but also develop something of a relationship with their readers. Admins on a site or companies Facebook page can interact with commenters and also post items other than news links.

By contrast, Reddit is an open news feed with some rather interesting subcultures in it. You never know what you will face on any day you post on Reddit. Reddit also requires you to maintain an interactive relationship with their site in order to post your news (or to pay for an account). If you try to simply post news without being involved in the community you can quickly find yourself locked out. Now you can view this as a good thing and a bad thing. On the one hand it prevents spamming which is good no matter how you look at it; on the other hand it does prevent legitimate sites from posting their own news without them having to dedicate time to the growth of another organization. For some people this is just not exactly a friendly way to do things. Reddit can also be very arbitrary, we know more than a few “Redditors” who delight in talking about how they always down vote this or that site. In this way Facebook actually has a slightly better system; if you like something you can show that, but they do not give you the option to down vote something. Articles with more likes will naturally rise above ones with less likes. With Reddit someone can embark on a campaign to down vote something which not only impacts the article in question, but also the person that posted it. It makes the site mush more like a clique than a real news outlet.

To work Digg must find the happy middle ground here and open up a new place for people that are tired of Facebook’s paid spam, Reddit’s clique like nature, and also deal with LinkedIn and Google+.  Betaworks thinks they might have the answer. They are going to still allow for voting on the site and votes placed on the site will have the most weight, but they are also going to take Facebook, Twitter and other social media shares into account. They figure that if people are sharing an article all over the internet then there must be something to it. This removes some of the possibility that a group of people can artificially affect the standing of an article on the new Digg. Betaworks has also pushed out a couple of renders of the new site layout and it looks a lot like Flipboard to be honest with you. This site design will work well on the internet where visitors are much more visual as well as in the mobile space where Digg also plans to head with a Digg mobile for iOS and Android.

We could see something of a shift in the way people share news and links in the very near future, but considering the effort that many put into their positions with Reddit we are not sure how many Redditors will want to abandon that relative power they have. It was a comment that was made by the Redditors we talked to, the wording was different, but the sentiment was the same. We are guessing that the first 90 days will be where we will see if the new Digg will make it, outside of that interest quickly wanes of something has not caught on.

Pictures from RethinkDigg.com

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