The Burying of Digg, by the Numbers

By Megan Garber

The social news site, in a different time, tried to sell itself for $300 million.

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Digg

This afternoon, Digg announced that it's been acquired by Betaworks -- for a purchase price, The Wall Street Journal reports, of $500,000. Not $500 million, mind you; $500,000. While the tone of the acquisition announcement is sunny ("we couldn't be happier to announce," etc., etc.), the purchase price serves as a reminder of how far the ur-social news site has fallen since its Halcyon days. Days before Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit came along to bury it. 

Below, the rise and fall of Digg -- by the numbers:  

    • Years the site has existed: 8
    • Years since founder Kevin Rose's (in)famous BusinessWeek cover, "How This Kid Made $60 Million in 18 Months": 6
    • Years between that cover's publication and Rose's resignation from Digg: 5
    • As of today, the total number of story submissions on the site: 28 million 
    • As of today, the total number of Diggs on the site: 350 million 
    • As of today, the total number of comments on the site: 40 million 
    • Number of monthly visitors at the height of the site's popularity -- the end of 2008: 30 million 
    • Number of monthly visitors at the end of 2010: less than 15 million
    • Number of monthly visitors in May 2012: 7 million
    • Years Digg has been trying to sell itself to a larger company, according to some reports: 6
    • Rumored price tag of a failed 2007 acquisition effort: $300 million
    • Rumored price tag of a failed 2008 acquisition effort -- this one by Google: $200 million 
    • Estimated valuation of the company in 2008: $167 million
    • Amount of a rumored acquisition offer from Al Gore and Current TV: $100 million 
    • Amount of Digg's first funding, provided by Rose himself: $6,000
    • Funding received a year after Digg launched, in 2005: $2.8 million
    • Total funding received from Marc Andreessen, Pierre Omidyar, Reid Hoffmann, and others since Digg launched: $45 million
    • Investment funding received in Digg's last round: $5 million
    • Days elapsed since that last funding round was announced: 365
    • Percentage of Digg workers laid off in 2009: 10
    • Further percentage of Digg workers laid off later that same year: 37
    • Number of Digg employees hired by Social Code, a digital subsidiary of The Washington Post, in May 2012: 15
    • Percentage of overall Digg staff remaining after the Social Code hiring: less than 50
    • Number of Digg staffers who will stay on with the product when it moves to Betaworks: 0


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/the-burying-of-digg-by-the-numbers/259771/