The Burying of Digg, by the Numbers

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

[optional image description]

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

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus