It has only been two weeks since the discovery that Digg's value was incredibly low, and we are only 3 days away from the new owners' relaunch of the platform. That relaunch will include an integration with a new social search and statistics engine, Realtime. Realtime is a service provided by URL shortening service, Bitly, who is owned in part by Betaworks, the new parent company of Digg. See a trend here?
In addition to Bitly, Realtime and now Digg, Betaworks also owns Chartbeat, which is a real-time website statistics service, similar to Google Analytics, as well as SocialFlow, a multi-network social engagement service. Clearly Betaworks has a focus on social and they are going for it full steam ahead. They even seem to have a plan on how to integrate their services to make one powerful network. Using the data collected through Realtime, Digg will be able to effectively compete with Facebook's new news suggestion service integrated into their timeline. While Facebook can make suggestions based on popular articles on their own network, Realtime will give Digg the power to suggest articles popular on all of the networks.
I suggested last week that Digg would have to do something major to be able to prove relevance again, and this might just be the move it needed. In experimenting with Realtime myself, I can say there is a lot to be excited about but a lot to be concerned about, too. Some categories return incredibly accurate results, while others are all over the place. For Digg to be truly successful again they need to know that Realtime's results are not always accurate and take that into consideration. They also have to keep Facebook's news bar into account, and be prepared for Google's URL shortener, as well as their lack of interest in sharing the data they mine with anyone.
What's your take? Will this help keep Digg alive, or will they be destined to be the first major casualty of the Web 2.0 bust? Let us know below.