Digg gets acquired for a whopping $500,000 [Update]

Poor Digg, you were such a promising thing – so promising, in fact, that you thought you were worth way more than the $200 million Google offered you. If only you could've seen that four years later, you'd be selling yourself for a cool $500,000.

Yes, that's right: Digg has sold itself for what amounts to chump change in the tech world. A mere shell of its former self, the Digg team is probably kicking itself for not taking Google's massive offer, now that it's no longer the coolest kid on the internet.

A New York technology firm called Betaworks is hoping to revive the flagging company to compete against the likes of CondeNast's reddit, which took the lead from Digg last December, and has held tight ever since. And while it's still possible that they can turn the company around, we're afraid that there's no good news whatsoever for Digg's employees: Betaworks says that they'll be unceremoniously dumping each and every one of them.

We did a little research on Betaworks, and discovered that they're the folks behind bitly, but we weren't very familiar behind any of their other offerings – Findings, something that lets you share clippings from your Kindle, bloglovin' (these people really hate capitalizing the titles of their products), a site that lets you build a personal newsfeed, and some other stuff we'd also never heard of.

One of Betaworks offerings is News.me, an app that delivers 'must-read stories' shared by your friends on Twitter and Facebook, and The Wall Street Journal says that they're going to be folding Digg into that. Considering that we've never heard of News.me in our lives, despite the fact that it's been around for over a year, the future does not look bright for Digg. Then again, we've been surprised before.

Thanks to Mephistopheles for the tip in our forums.

Update: According to TechCrunch the figure is actually closer to $16M:

According to a familiar source, the Washington Post ended up paying $12 million for the Digg team. Around the same time, career social network LinkedIn paid between $3.75 million and $4 million for around 15 different Digg patents including the patent on “click a button to vote up a story.”

Via: Gizmodo
Source: The Wall Street Journal | Betaworks

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33 Comments

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They just threw it away with terrible decisions. I used to be a heavy Digg reader at it's very peak - in fact it was probably my most visited site. Then they went through an awful software upgrade several years ago, whilst simultaneously modifying the way advertisers could embed content in the site and so forth. You could almost hear the stampede of people deserting... it was terrible.

I haven't been back in years.

Spent about $400,000.00 too much.
Here's what killed off Digg...
Kevin Rose's ego
In fighting, trolling, political bias, among other things.

naap51stang said,
Spent about $400,000.00 too much.
Here's what killed off Digg...
Kevin Rose's ego
In fighting, trolling, political bias, among other things.

I haven't been by Digg in a couple of years since the "upgrade" and complete take-over of the political left. I can't stand the political right either FTR...

I was so tired of comments like "Well Bush was at fault for allowing big __________ to do this to the poor" followed by "Democrats are in control and they are the ones to blame!"

Oh and the comments were in a "Best pizza in Idaho" thread....

People saying it's too much? How the hell would you even know. Because you read articles on a tech forum?

Lol. The advertising space alone is worth that.

Kevin Rose was really stupid during that period when Google wanted to acquire them. The go it alone approach doesn't always work. The opportunity to come an instant millionaire for life and become acquired by one of the most powerful companies and be able to work for them on your own creation would have been an opportunity too good to past up. I always knew he was a bit naive, too bad persons like Leo Laporte who he worked with on The Screen Savers or circle of friends like Robert Scoble could not have talked him into making the sell to Google at the time. Then again, greed usually rears its ugly head in situations like this and they got burnt for it. All I can say is well deserved.

that happen when your ego is bigger than the planet. They prolly thought they worth more than 200M$ back in 2008 and now... well, that's what they diserved

MrBabyman destroyed Digg. Him and others figured out how to break the system and always get their reposts to the front page. At that point, I discovered Reddit and never looked back.

mayamaniac said,
MrBabyman destroyed Digg. Him and others figured out how to break the system and always get their reposts to the front page. At that point, I discovered Reddit and never looked back.

I think it's more the fact that digg promoted so called "power users" rather than changing the system to make it more fair.

Getting sold for chump change and everyone getting fired by a company that would of never been heard of if it weren't for bit.ly after turning down $200 MILLION dollars..

Typical FML moment...

ooo I bet they are kicking themselves, its crazy to think at once Digg was so big that was of course before their awful redesign!

Lucas said,
Ouch, I'd probably be jumping from a roof if I lost a $200 million for $500k, lol.

What are you, a Foxconn employee or something? *whistles*

war said,
LOL

What goes around comes around eh! ha-ha They get what they deserve.

Greedy ass *******!


Totally agree.

Even 500.000 is way too much for digg...