At some point today, Digg will be rolling out a massive update to help users of its service connect more and to become more social. As BusinessWeek reports, these changes “might seem more at home on Facebook or MySpace than on a web site where users post links to online articles and other media”. So what exactly does Digg have in store? Here’s a quick rundown:
Increased friend capabilities
Currently on Digg you can add friends (just not too quickly), and this allows you to see easily when they submit something, Digg something, etc. But to truly interact with them, you have to try to make that happen outside of Digg (usually by getting their contact info from their Digg profile). With this new update, Digg will give you the ability to connect and communicate through the website and thus strengthen your bonds with like-minded users.
“Shouting” and “posting”
Right now when you want people to pay extra attention to a story that you submit, again you have to try to contact them outside of Digg. With this new update, you will be able to send your links to your friends (“shouting”) along with messages. You will also be able to post your stories to a message board of thoughts (think Facebook’s wall feature) so that you and your friends can discuss it there.
Currently your profile page can only contain some very basic information: your user name, real name, avatar, location, IM user name and one link to a website. With this update, you will be able to create a much realer sense of who you are. You can have multiple photos, a bio, information about your personal interests, and links to your own various websites. This is a huge departure for a site in which many people protect their real identities like closely guarded secrets. One note, much like Facebook, you will also be able to determine who sees what (friends vs. non-friends, etc).
During the next update (before the end of the year) we should see a feature that will suggest stories to you based on what you have voted on and liked in the past. This will also extend to friends (the system matching you up with like-minded users of the site).
One side note for any marketers who were planning to launch linkbait pieces through Digg today, I would be quite wary as Digg is famous for long periods of downtime during any updates (even minor ones) and you can be sure that the community will be up in arms over many of these new changes.
Chris Winfield is the President and Co-Founder of 10e20, an Internet marketing company that specializes in social media & search marketing services and is based in New York & Florida.
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