Internet media firm buys faded social news site Digg

Jul 12, 2012
Faded social news star Digg announced Thursday that it has been bought by online media company Betaworks in a move aimed at reviving the firm's cache.

Faded social news star Digg announced Thursday that it has been bought by online media company Betaworks in a move aimed at reviving the firm's cache.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed but online reports estimated the purchase price at $500,000.

Betaworks said in a blog post that it had acquired the core assets of San Francisco-based Digg and planned to merge them with its News.me service for sharing articles on iPads, iPhones and by email newsletters.

"The News.me team will take Digg back to its essence: the best place to find, read and share the stories that the Internet is talking about," Betaworks founder John Borthwick said in a blog post.

"We are turning Digg back into a startup," the post continued. "Low budget, small team, fast cycles."

Digg was founded seven years ago by Kevin Rose, who took a position with Internet titan earlier this year.

"John understands the real-time nature of the Web and how to capture and surface trends as they occur," Rose said in a statement. "Given his experience with bit.ly, news.me and Chartbeat, I can't wait to see what he does with Digg."

Digg became a global sensation as an online venue for submitting that climbed or sank in rankings based on votes, referred to at the website as "diggs."

More than 28 million stories have been submitted to Digg since it launched, chief executive Matt Williams said on the company's website.

Digg fell out of favor as people shifted to rival services and social networks and Twitter to share news with friends. Industry figures indicate about seven million people visit Digg each month.

About half of the Digg team was hired away early this year and the Betaworks acquisition reportedly included no employees.

"Over the last few months, we've considered many options of where Digg could go, and frankly many of them could not live up to the reason Digg was invented in the first place -- to discover the best stuff on the Web," Williams said.

"We couldn't be happier to announce that the next generation of Digg will live on with the team from Betaworks."

Williams said that he will be joining premier venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz as an "entrepreneur in residence." The firm was among the backers.

News.me was launched early last year as a way for people to easily share when friends at or Facebook are reading.

Explore further: NBCUniversal settles with unpaid interns for $6.4M

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Once hot Digg slashes staff by over one-third

Oct 25, 2010

Digg, the news-sharing site once one of the hottest destinations on the Web, announced Monday it was cutting over one-third of its staff in a bid to try to be profitable next year.

Google invests in social with Kevin Rose hire

Mar 16, 2012

Google confirmed Friday that it has hired Digg co-founder Kevin Rose and other members of the team at his latest project, a Milk incubator for startups making "apps" for mobile gadgets.

Digg founder launches tech newsletter

Jan 03, 2011

The founder of popular social news website Digg on Monday launched an email newsletter promising video interviews, product reviews, "rants" and early peeks at new Internet offerings.

Marketing company sells clients Facebook friends

Sep 03, 2009

(AP) -- On Facebook, most people make friends the old-fashioned way - by sending a request to be added to someone's posse of pals. Now, an Australian marketing company hopes to save you time and energy by ...

Recommended for you

NBCUniversal settles with unpaid interns for $6.4M

4 hours ago

NBCUniversal will pay $6.4 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought by unpaid interns who worked on "Saturday Night Live" and other shows who claim they are owed wages, according to court documents.

States ascend into the cloud

4 hours ago

Seven years ago, the state of Delaware started moving computer servers out of closets and from under workers' desks to create a consolidated data center and a virtual computing climate.

Microsoft drops Nokia name from smartphones

6 hours ago

Microsoft said Friday it was dropping the Nokia name from its Lumia smartphones, rebranding following the acquisition earlier this year of the Finnish group's handset division.

Amazon's loss makes holidays a question mark

7 hours ago

Amazon's trademark smile icon is becoming more of a grimace. The world's largest online retailer reported a wider third-quarter loss than analysts expected and gave a disappointing holiday forecast.

Ericsson profit down 10 pct despite higher sales

11 hours ago

Wireless equipment maker Ericsson says its third-quarter earnings slumped 10 percent despite higher sales due to increased operating costs and negative effects from currency hedging.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

antialias_physorg
not rated yet Jul 12, 2012
Has there ever been a website/internet presence that was revived from near-death after being purchased?

Can't think of one, off hand.

People move away for a reason - and are unlikely to move back as long as they get what they like where they are now (even if the old site now provides that, too).

So unless they come up with something better than 'going back to core values' that's pretty much the end for Digg the way I see it.