After a monumental crash and burn followed by the inspiring, if vague, Betaworks-led reimagining efforts, the new Digg v.1 is here. At the end of last month, the ReThinkDigg movement was launched and the acquiring company vowed to pick up the pieces and put it all back together again – and if this first look is a good indication of Digg’s future, then that may have just been accomplished.
“After an intense month and a half, we managed to get the new Digg up and running on a fresh code base and infrastructure,” the team announced via its blog. “We now have a solid foundation on which to build, and we expect to build fast.”
True to their word, Betworks scrapped nearly everything from what it inherited with the Digg buy. Part of the original site’s destruction was due to internal issues, but the fact that users have turned to Twitter and Facebook for social news has inarguably also been a large part of the problem. The new Digg doesn’t so much compete with these two platforms as try to repackage what they’re doing in a more reader-friendly fashion. Users can sign up for the service with Facebook Connect, and individual stories can be shared to the iPhone, out on Twitter or Facebook, and of course, you can Digg them. One of the most interesting features falls under the Popular tab, where you can see Twitter posts to submitted links and graphics showing off the period of the time over which the news has been peaking.
We have no shortage of news readers at our disposal, and so any makeover Digg gets is going to face plenty of competition. Rebuilding the application is one thing, and the Betaworks team has done an admirable job of that. But reinspiring the community is something else entirely, and it’s a much more crowded market than it was in Digg’s hay day.