Rumors have been swirling once again on the ill-fated voyage of the once fair, and now ragged, Digg. The social news site, since becoming overshadowed by Reddit, has been in a desolate state as it struggled to remain relevant during its now eight-year life span. Surprisingly, it appears that Digg may be handed a life line after all, or is it? The Next Web was the first to report that Digg just might be rumored to be in talks about an acquisition by The Washington Post. But a follow-up report by TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha has spun a bizarre twist in the rumors with his own speculation that the Washington Post is acquiring the Digg staff, but not Digg.com.
Kevin Rose, co-founder of Revision3 and Milk, (and now a Google employee), created Digg in 2004 as an experiment. After serving as interim CEO in 2010 for five months, Kevin resigned in March 2011. Although Digg’s fate had arguably been sealed long before Kevin’s temporary ascension to CEO, the company had initially been involved in acquisition talks with Google in 2008, which eventually fell apart.
TechCrunch does make a great case. According to the report, the Washington Post is looking to bolster its social reading capabilities with Trove, a personalized social news aggregator that was reportedly built on top The Post’s acquisition of iCurrent. Attracted by the bolstered readership due to its Facebook social reader application, the Washington Post has noticeably caught the social news bug.
When looking at Digg, there isn’t much left to recoup. There was a brief moment of glory when in late March 2012, Digg announced the increase in traffic from mobile users subsequent to its Facebook Timeline App launch. Despite the accomplishment, the success was not entirely positive. The company admitted that the engagement among mobile users was rather low. “Typically people reading on the Digg iOS app and m.digg.com were not logged in to share their activity on Digg,” Digg’s blog post stated.
We can assume that Digg could be leveraged temporarily to salvage its 3 million monthly users, but if the Digg team is in fact acquired and promptly tasked solely to work on Trove, Social Reader, and Personal Post, the team would have few resources remaining to continue keeping Digg afloat. Moreover, we’re hard pressed to believe that anyone would be willing to acquire Digg for its brand. We can’t help but presume that Digg is about to go belly-up.
Besides, even if Digg did cease to exist from the Internet, would you really care? Let us know in the comments below.
We’ll keep you up to date on the latest developments.
Update: Venture Beat reports that Digg is also in acquisition talks with CNN.