Digg, at one time a superstar of the social news scene, has sold itself to Betanews for a rather paltry $500,000. That's not chump change, to be sure, but when sites and services like Instagram are trading hands for a billion dollars, well, half a million doesn't seem like much. It's a drop in the bucket compared to what Digg could have sold for just a few short years ago, before it was shoved aside by the likes of Facebook and Twitter in their rise to news sharing relevance.
In a post on its website, Digg CEO Matt Williams points out that over the years, his company has amassed over 350 million Diggs, 28 million story submissions, and 40 million comments. As one of the first social media sites, Digg remains a recognizable brand, and according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the company had other, more lucrative offers on the table, but decided on Betaworks because of its vision for reviving the brand.
"We are turning Digg back into a startup," Betaworks said in a statement. "Low budget, small team, fast cycles."
Betaworks plans to do that by putting its News.me team to work taking "Digg back to its essence." The vision is to return Digg to what it once was -- a prominent spot on the Web to "find, read, and share the stories the Internet is talking about."
That's easier said than done when the likes of Twitter and other social sites aren't going anywhere. The hope is that Digg can once again stand out and become a valuable resource for news, and a valuable asset for Betaworks. According to The New York Times, Digg was once worth as much as $150 million based on a round of funding in 2008, the same year Google was reportedly interested in acquiring the site for $200 million.