We could hardly tear ourselves away last week from the drama that became of two of the largest social-news websites on the Internet. For the better part of a day, users unhappy with version 4 of Digg posted a barrage of links from Reddit’s site onto Digg’s homepage. The result increased Reddit’s traffic causing extra demand on their servers. Reddit gladly stepped up to the sizable increase in daily traffic (estimated at about 250,000 visits from Digg users, and later reported some of their internal analytics and thoughts on the unexpected demand. On top of this temporary traffic surge (in the daily attention and reach graphs below), we’ll likely see some incremental growth in upcoming metrics resulting from users formerly unfamiliar with Reddit.
Take note of how Reddit and Digg overlap during the late spring and early summer, likely a result of a number of changes happening at both companies which you can correlate on the interactive timeline below.
Rather than bore you with the product and political ongoings at length, I decided go interactive! Play around with the snippets I pulled from the respective blogs and let me know how you like this format in the comments below. If you like it I’ll take to using it more often, because it helps condense some of the historical details into outbound links for further reading and a deeper data dive without tedious repetition for those of you already briefed.
The trends in Pageviews for Digg and Reddit over the past several months is likely a Â result in the shift in product direction on for both sites. On one hand, Digg, the more established site starts taking some risks with major changes in the way they source content and made a switch in database technolgies employed on the backend. While Reddit, struggled to make ends meet and pleaded to it’s users to ask “really how much would you pay for our service”. A question answered by their recently implemented Reddit’s gold program. Which has been paying off, so much so they’ve been able to increase their staff and invest in some new infrastructure. What I find most impressive however, is the out of the box thinking that allowed them to engage with their tech-savy user base. Centering the subscription model around exclusive beta tester privileges and the transparency of knowing how your subscription directly impacts the service is a highly valuable to users; who can tout their badge, exclusive privileges, and input on product direction throughout the site.
Another key performance indicator that Reddit is more than just a passing fad is the high growth rate and upward trend in the Average stay metrics. Digg and other sites will need to start differentiate themselves in the market and continue to create buy-into drive engagement like we’re seeing on Reddit.
On the Digg side we’ll have to wait to see if this uprising will hold or if like the Facebook protest, users will stick around regardless. Â However this story pans out over time it will likely serve as a cautionary tale, one that reminds us to appreciate and respect the people that make you popular and to not underestimate the lengths to which they’ll go to show you how passionate they are about how they spend their free time.
Lindsey Mark works in Client Relations at Compete and is responsible for the strategic development of client retention and support policies for compete.com, with a focus on education and training efforts. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY so she's a certified technology junkie and open source advocate. When she's not thinking about marketing or training digital 007's at compete, she's doing yoga & blogging about gluten-free diet and lifestyle. Find Lindsey on Twitter as @linji, Google Plus as Lindsey Mark or connect with her via LinkedIn.