You have no doubt heard of Digg.com -probably never spent much time there, but you know of this site. The social media news sharing website was part of a handful of power figures 4 years ago. Quantcast estimated Digg’s monthly U.S. unique visits at 3.8 million, while Digg’s popularity prompted the creation of copycat social networking sites Reddit and Imgur, allowing story submission and voting systems.
Now only a few years later, it’s Digg that has lost ground and is slipping through the cracks. In 2006, Digg had a cover story with one of the co-founders and was said to be worth over 200 million dollars. It also had been said that over the years, they raised more than 45 million dollars with the investors who came in. Neither of the companies commented on if this was true, but a lot of talk on the Internet pretty much confirms it. Back in 2008, Google almost bought out the company for 200 million dollars, but ended up deciding not to.
Just recently, Digg sold themselves to Betaworks. Both of the companies have confirmed the buy out, and the cash exchanged for the buy seems pretty weak in comparison to how well they were doing just a few years ago. $500,000 was all that was given to the owners of Digg.
The rise and fall of this social media site has now set the stage as a blueprint to know when you have peaked.
If you never went on Digg, it was a website that users could submit links or stories to, while appearing as a news feed for current information on popular niches. In it’s prime, it was a new Internet feature and lots of users flocked to the website to try it. Unfortunately, as many other websites have found, eventually people stopped going once it reached its peak.
In 2010, Digg came out with a new website do-over called v4, claiming that it was a re-vamped version of the website. Sadly for Digg, this new update caused even more problems and was the eventual reason why the growth of the company began to take a turn for the worse. Most people who were regular visitors to the site hated the changes. One day, users had an “Abandon Digg Day” where nobody went on the site. After this disaster, one of the CEO’s, Matt Williams, claimed that they were going to fix the problems on the website, but this never happened. The glitches continued and people started to become more and more fed up with the website that was once so popular. At this point, Reddit had come out of the woodwork and was the same idea as Digg but more simple. People quickly converted.
Betaworks has said that they are going to completely revamp their website, claiming big changes will be coming soon. They are going back to the beginning, with a small team and a low budget hoping to make the website as popular as it once was back in 2006. Betaworks is using it’s own employees and getting rid of everyone who currently works at Digg, so in with the new ideas and out with the old.
Things aren’t looking too bad though for co-founder Kevin Rose, who was the one who appeared on that 2006 cover claiming their fame. A few months ago he made a deal with Google to help them get Google+ going and put a nice 15 million dollar paycheck into his pocket. Hopefully if everything works out with Betaworks, you should see a new and improved Digg and maybe it will even gain back some of the popularity it lost a few years ago…but I doubt it.