updated 06:09 pm EDT, Thu July 12, 2012
Company behind bit.ly grabs fallen social media site
Digg has reportedly been scooped up by New York technology development firm Betaworks, which operates bit.ly and other tech startups. Sources familiar with the matter have told The Wall Street Journal that the once-prominent social news site sold for just $500,000. Digg will reportedly be folded into News.me, a digital news site that Betaworks already owns.
According to reports, Betanews was but one of several companies bidding for Digg's assets. In May, The Washington Post Company hired away more than half of Digg's staff, and what remained was little more than the site's name and audience. Digg's managers reportedly decided to go with Betanews' offer because they believed the company had the best plan for reviving the Digg brand.
Digg was once the top name in social news, with nearly 30 million monthly viewers in 2008. The site was rumored to have drawn immense interest from major players in the tech sphere, including Google and Microsoft.
Since then, though, competition from Facebook, Twitter, and competitor site Reddit saw Digg's popularity wane quickly. By 2010, Digg's audience was down to less than half what it was in 2008, and it now stands around seven million visitors per month. Digg's founder Kevin Rose left the company last year to join Google Ventures.