The new owners of once red-hot social news sharing service Digg have taken to their blog to reveal that they’re … ‘thinking about monetization’ and experimenting with several ways to make money, including a ‘sponsored app’ section on the website.
That isn’t news per se, but what’s worth noting is that the Digg team says its users have doubled in number since the site was relaunched in August 2012 – sans comments – under the wings of new parent company Betaworks. The product is “about 1% done”, according to the blog post.
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Detailed user numbers weren’t shared, unfortunately.
There’s a good chance that the stats aren’t up to par with once-rival Reddit’s user and traffic numbers though: Reddit recently announced that it served an impressive 37 billion page views and hit 400 million unique visitors in 2012.
Digg’s new owners haven’t sat still since the service was taken over, however, having redesigned the site from scratch and released an app for the iPhone and the iPad as well as an email product called The Daily Digg.
The team also proudly notes that “publishers are starting to notice “the Digg effect” once again”, linking to a recent BuzzFeed post about the topic. The thing is, even we at The Next Web have noticed this, so we don’t think it’s a fluke or simply wishful thinking.
If you’re a publisher, we’d love to hear from you to confirm that you’re seeing Digg turn up in your referrer stats again. If you’re a Digg user, we’d love to learn what made you go back to the service.
Going back to the pesky ‘making money’ part, Digg notes:
We’re taking the same approach to our business as we do to the product: try things, talk to users, adapt. A few months ago we started experimenting with a program called Apps We Like. The idea is simple: across mobile, desktop and web, there are lots of great developers building great apps, but most people only ever see a tiny fraction of them.
Each week, Digg will select an app to get featured on the Digg homepage, labeled “Apps We Like” (and clearly marked as a sponsored). The company is encouraging app developers to give it a shot.
Furthermore, Digg notes about its monetization experiment:
We’ll take this approach to each business opportunity — looking first to the value that it provides our users. We are challenging ourselves to think beyond traditional display advertising. Users don’t like it and we’re hearing more and more that advertisers don’t either.
We have a lot to learn, so we’re starting early. We’re going to try some things, learn some things, and make some mistakes. Fulfilling our vision for Digg means not only building a great product, but building one that can last.
We’ll be watching.
Image credit: LaughingSquid / Flickr