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I used to be a loyal user of Digg.com, but after a few too many changes I stopped visiting the site. So when I heard that Betaworks was going to be rebuilding the social news platform from scratch I decided to see what was going on with Digg.
The failing news website, Digg was recently sold to Betaworks for the small sum of $500,000. The low price of the website came as a shock considering it used to be worth close to 200 million dollars only a few years ago.
I was curious to see just how poorly the site had been performing so I went on Compete PRO and it immediately became clear to me just how much it had been suffering. The number of unique visitors had dropped over 6 million from where it was just two years ago.
Former loyal Digg users blame the downfall of the site on many things, but a lot of them point to website redesigns as their primary issue. When you look at the average stay of visitors you can see the fluctuations in the amount of time spent on the site support this claim, with a steep drop between August and September of 2010 shortly after the launch of now infamous V4 interface. August 31 was even dubbed “Abandon Digg Day”, in which discouraged Digg users were urged to move to Reddit.com
One of the main problems with the redesigns was that the users of the site became somewhat alienated. The homepage which formerly had listed the most popular stories as voted by users became more driven by content posted by mainstream publishers. This alteration caused many loyal subscribers to abandon the site in favor of competitors.
When looking at outgoing traffic you can see that Reddit.com falls within the top 5 sites people go to after leaving Digg.com, which is considered the sites main competitor.
The people at Betaworks certainly have a challenge ahead of them with the rebuilt site planned to be up and running by the beginning of August. Do you think Digg can rise from the ashes to attract traffic again, or has it permanently lost its fan base?
Jake works at Compete as a Business Development Intern in the Sales department. He is a rising senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where he majors in Marketing at the Isenberg School of Management. You can find him on Twitter @jakegoldster or connect with him on LinkedIn.