DiggIn it’s heyday Digg enjoyed a steady increase in popularity on the web and future hopes were high for the company and its investors. The feature-rich user experience of Digg pleased its users and set itself apart from similar sites with less refined interfaces. In August 2010 Digg launched “version 4″ of their Social News platform. The new Digg was meant to let you find, share and socials with your news faster and better than before. Instead, Digg’s users were left confused with the new interface and many of their favorite features were gone or moved. Something wasn’t right and it wasn’t long before members started leaving and the media fueled the fire.

Too Many Drastic Changes Shocks the User-base

Bombarding users with lots new bells-and-whistles all at once is not a good idea. Too much of a good thing can be bad. For instance, Imagine you go to Facebook tomorrow and Mark (Zuck-er-berg-man) has made his website completely different overnight. It’s now a full width dashboard with your news feed shared with the wall and your profile. You’re confused, angry and maybe a bit sad. What do you do? Band together and join the masses in revolt. It’s happened before to Facebook, and now it happened to Digg.

How should have Digg approached releasing new features? Simple, like Facebook does. They’ve learned from their mistakes. Now Facebook gradually rolls out releases through an invite-only systems. They are currently doing this with the new Facebook Messages. Digg should have done the same with the new features of version 4.

Digg’s Users Fight Back, Many Leave

Digg users gave their opinion of the new release by voting up stories If we look at the Alexa Traffic rank for Digg we can see that a steady decline in the number of daily visitors. As well, the bounce rate has gapped-down since August last year.

Digg Alexa Rankings

Digg Page Views

Bad Media Adds to the Fire

Mashable, along with many other social news sites caught on to the Digg Redesign dilemma and it wasn’t long before hundreds of articles spread across the Internet. Pretty soon, even people who hadn’t even heard of Digg were bad-mouthing the site. Check out this poll of the New Digg vs. Old Digg and you can see that a whopping 78% prefer the old digg over the newer version.

The Future of Digg

Digg had to change, it’s inevitable. But how they adopted that change abruptly rather than gradually was the problem. There’s a lot of debate about what will happen with Digg in the future. Whether they overcome this setback is up to their ability to quell the anger of the community (you can see it’s already subsided some) and patch up their website to please the majority of visitors. Digg will stay among the leaders in the social news arena, but with Reddit and other becoming more popular by the day they’ll have their challenges. If we have learned something from Digg, it’s that new additions to an established platform should be implemented gradually and with community interaction.

What do you think? Whether you love or hate Digg, your opinion matters. Share it below about whether you think Digg’s traffic will again begin to rise or if they’ve seen themselves max out. Thanks for reading and be sure to Like WordImpress on Facebook!

Devin Walker is a San Diego-based WordPress Developer and enthusiast. He is the author of several popular and highly-rated WordPress themes and plugins. In his free time he enjoys playing Golf and traveling.

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