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Digg Wants to Be the Twitter of News

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Digg founder Kevin Rose is close to his first major launch since taking over as CEO and instituting layoffs. He published a video today on his personal YouTube (s GOOG) account laying out the site’s upcoming version 4 release, due “very soon” (found via TechCrunch).

The new Digg — which has been in the works for at least a year now — will extend the site’s current social features (which are pretty minimal) to allow for both friending and following other users and publishers. So if you friend a user, you see what they Digg and comment on; if you follow a publisher, you see everything they publish. The result is a personalized news page that seems like a combination of Google Reader, the Facebook news feed and Twitter. These features aren’t surprising; they’d been discussed publicly by previous CEO Jay Adelson and others at the company.

Here’s the key quote from the video, from Rose describing Digg’s new value proposition:

“Because we’re only links and news we cut out all the miscellaneous status updates like you see on other sites.”

This sounds like a good approach. The problem, though, will be standing out from those other sites that people already use to get their news *and* updates together, since much of that information will end up being duplicated and redundant for people who use more than one of the services.

24 Responses to “Digg Wants to Be the Twitter of News”

  1. There’s not a whole lot of originality in the new Digg. They are mostly ideas from Facebook, Twitter, and are fairly standard for socially based websites now. Adding friends and followers may make Digg more enjoyable for current users of the site, but it will not help to attract many more users. I think Digg should focus on making the features they have more robust. You can always take one more step with any feature. The Internet is full of copying, pasting, and sharing ideas. We need more originality, and with that functionality. Digg is certainly functional, but their originality is quickly fading.

  2. Won’t work for a simple reason: Digg works for people at the moment because it makes discovery possible through context than by connections.

    I do understand why they would want connections to feature in it:

    1. It allows for one more use case.
    2. It increases the volume of content contributed/accessed within the ecosystem, leading to more page views.

    Not sure if it will fly, though. But got to wait and see if they can stem the decline with it.

  3. sorry, too little too late…facebook has this covered, as does every other major platform and destination, including google buzz….they should have sold out 18 months ago when they weren’t languishing (google, 200M rumor?)…as of today, digg is really just the same few thousand core users, not a big growth business…i anticipate an acquisition by AOL within 6 months and would bet one of my dogs on it…this is not a company, it’s a feature in somebody else’s product roadmap, period.