Photo: via Facebook
Betaworks is buying social news site Digg for $500,000, the Wall Street Journal reports.Betaworks is acquiring the Digg brand, website, and technology, but not its employees. Digg will be folded into News.me, Betaworks’ social news aggregator.
This is not the outcome people expected for Digg. In 2008, Google was reportedly set to buy it for $200 million.
It raised $45 million in funding from A-list investors like Marc Andreessen, Reid Hoffman, Greylock Partners, and others, according to CrunchBase.
What happened to Digg? It went through redesigns that alienated its users. Sites like Twitter and Facebook made a dedicated social sharing site obsolete. And Reddit, its main rival, built a better community.
Digg CEO Matt Williams confirmed the acquisition, but not the price, on Digg’s blog. He will join Andreessen Horowitz as an Entrepreneur In Residence.
Here’s his blog post on the deal:
Today marks the next stage in Digg’s future.
Believe it or not, it’s been seven years since Digg launched. To date, we’ve had over 350M Diggs, 28M Story Submissions and 40M Comments. We’re extremely proud to have helped pioneer social voting on the web.
Digg has always been a site built by the community, for the community. Over the last few months, we’ve considered many options of where Digg could go, and frankly many of them could not live up to the reason Digg was invented in the first place — to discover the best stuff on the web. We wanted to find a way to take Digg back to its startup roots.
We couldn’t be happier to announce that the next generation of Digg will live on with the team from Betaworks. Betaworks is combining Digg with News.me, a Betaworks company with an iPad app, iPhone app and daily email that delivers the best stories shared by your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Digg will join a portfolio of products developed by Betaworks designed to improve the way people find and talk about the news. Betaworks founder John Borthwick will be the CEO of the new Digg.
Kevin wanted to share, “I’ve always been a fan of John’s product vision and the companies he builds, funds, and advises. John understands the real-time nature of the web and how to capture and surface trends as they occur. Given his experience with bit.ly, news.me, and Chartbeat I can’t wait to see what he does with Digg.”
Coming soon, Betaworks will unveil a new cloud-based version of Digg to complement the current News.me iPhone and iPad apps. Stay tuned.
After the Betaworks transition is complete, I’ll be joining Andreessen Horowitz as Entrepreneur in Residence, where I look forward to working with many other visionary tech startups.
Both Kevin and I would like to thank everyone who made Digg’s journey possible — our amazing community, our talented employees who have developed the site over the past 7 years, the many investors who believed in our vision including Greylock, Highland, and Andreessen Horowitz, and countless others who have supported us along the way.
As always, send us your feedback and ideas on what keeps you reading and Digging. We’ll share all of your feedback with the Betaworks team as they launch the next stage in Digg’s future.