Digg sold for peanuts

Digg, one of social media’s buzz sites in recent years, has been sold for the web equivalent of pocket change. New York technology development company Betaworks paid just $500,000 (£324,000) in cash plus equity for the company.

The site was founded just a few months after Facebook and by 2006 was reckoned to be among the pioneering sites that would reshape the internet experience. The "social news" site still attracts around 16 million users every month, but it was slow to implement interactive features and has been overtaken in some areas by rivals like Reddit. "Digg is in a deadly, unrecoverable tail spin," one commentator wrote in 2010.

The buyers obviously think it still has considerable potential. "Digg is one of the great internet brands," Betaworks said in a statement on their site. "It has meant a great deal to millions of users over the years. It was a pioneer in community-driven news."

They are stripping the site down and remodelling it. "We are turning Digg back into a startup. Low budget, small team, fast cycles. How? We have spent the last 18 months building News.me as a mobile-first social news experience. The News.me team will take Digg back to its essence: the best place to find, read and share the stories the internet is talking about. Right now."

Still, as the site was once valued at £175 million and was sold for one 350th of that sum, it’s apparent that Digg’s fortunes were more MySpace than Facebook. MySpace has subsequently been relaunched, but Digg may also struggle to reclaim its brief online eminence.

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