When Digg first launched in 2004, it was one of the first social news websites. With its creation brought many similar sites using the same vote up/down system that Digg had created. At Digg’s peak of popularity, it was getting over 230 million page views a month. The site was rumored to be worth over $200 Million. Then in 2010, with the launch of Digg Version 4, everything changed.
Digg first started as an experiment in 2004 by TV personality, Kevin Rose, and a few of his cohorts. The site’s main appeal was the ability to allow users to submit stories and then vote stories up or bury them by voting them down. The popularity of Digg’s user controlled system led to the creation of similar sites such as Reddit. With the rise of Digg also came the power users which branded themselves as digital marketing consultants and spurred a whole new business for agencies and startups.
As Digg became more popular, they felt that they needed to change certain aspects of the site to keep things fair among users, and continue to grow. This led to changes in the site’s algorithm among other changes. With these revisions came a few signs of things to come. Employees at Digg started removing top news stories without explanation. This left many users furious, but Digg eventually apologized; leaving users content with the site.
In 2010, a few months after CEO and Co-Founder Jay Adelson left the company, Digg launched Digg Version 4. With this new version came a myriad of changes. One of the main features of the site, burying, was removed completely. Users could now only vote up stories. The other notable change was the ability for news outlets to submit their stories directly to the site. This led to all of the top stories being from news publishers, making people feel that they no longer had any control over the content on the site.
This led many Digg users to leave the site in search of a new place to call home. The most similar site to Digg at the time was Reddit. Reddit, established in 2005, used a similar structure as Digg, but focused more on community discussions than solely news. Reddit quickly became a sanctuary for ex-Digg users.
As Digg crumbled, Reddit rose to the top. It is now the top social news site; getting over 2 billion page views a month. It has surpassed Digg’s highest records, and continues to grow. Reddit is more than a social news site, it is a community.