Last week Digg unveiled “v4,” which had been in the works for more than a year — in fact, founder Kevin Rose was so miffed at the lack of progress that he replaced CEO Jay Adelson with himself back in April. Digg was hoping the revamp would reverse its traffic woes.
Digg v4 encourages importing friends from other social networks and following Digg users. The “My News” tab feature on the user page features top stories have been “Dugg” by friends or is sponsored, while the “Top News” tab supposedly functions like good ol’ Digg and takes the top stories from across the network.
But users upset with v4 have launched a full-on revolt across social media sites, including rival Reddit as users were able to flooding the Digg top stories list with links from Reddit. Other users started screaming yesterday that it was “Quit Digg Day.” Digg traffic plummeted 33% after the launch, according to the not always (or often) reliable Alexa.com.
In addition to the inclusion of auto-feeds, power diggers are no more in the new Digg, and their history of ruling has apparently been destroyed. Instead of requiring carefully chosen words and images, submitting a story now only requires a link (similar to Facebook). That may seem to level the playing field, it also encourages publishers to submit their own stories and effectively destroys the “balance of power.
Social Blade notes that Digg v4 allows “publishers and celebrities to take the limelight with little to no ‘real’ contribution that was in existence prior to the change.”
The sudden furor is interesting because Digg had a very open and easy to get into beta testing period for the last few weeks. On Twitter, Rose dismissed the hysteria as “Digg Revolt #5,” but admitted, “we’re working hard to fix the source diversity part of the digg algorithm, more news soon.”
Meanwhile, Reddit is having a grand old time. While already drawing attention for bucking parent company Conde Nast and running a pot legalization ad campaign for free, the social news forum has given its alien mascot a shovel and added the message: “Pardon our construction: we’re digging around for new logos this week.”