Digg, which was once a prominent Internet start-up, sold for just $500,000, making the acquisitions of other fallen Web giants look respectable.
Digg raised $45 million from its investors since launching in 2004, but now, its brand, website and its technology have been reportedly sold for a sliver of that to Betaworks, a technology development firm.
The sale, which was reported by the Wall Street Journal, will give Betaworks a site that still receives about 7 million monthly visitors after Social Code, a subsidiary of The Washington Post Co., hired more than half of Digg’s staff away.
Betaworks intends to merge Digg into News.me, a start-up it launched last year that sends users a daily newsletter containing content shared by their friends on Facebook and followers on Twitter.
Digg hit its stride in 2008 with about 30 million visitors a month, but it began to fall in 2010 due to traffic loss to Facebook and Twitter. Poorly received site redesigns also contributed to its collapse, and in December of last year, Reddit, a similar site, finally overtook Digg in traffic.
While the demise of Digg is sad, its fall isn’t unique. Other stars of the Web have come crashing down. Among them were social networks MySpace and Friendster, as well as Delicious, a social bookmarking site.
However, unlike Digg, none of those other sites crashed as hard. MySpace was sold last year in a deal valued at $35 million; Friendster was sold in 2009 for $26.4 million; and Delicious was sold for $5 million last year as well.
Digg, on the other hand, couldn’t stay above the million-dollar mark. More money went into the other companies throughout their spans, but the fact that Digg was sold for just a little more than 1% of what it once raised is truly shocking.
TechCrunch is now reporting that the sale price may be larger than $500,000 but didn’t offer a different number. So there may yet be a chance for this one great site to bow out for a respectable price.