Betaworks, a New York technology development firm that has had its eyes set on news distribution for some time, has purchased former social new powerhouse Digg.com for $500,000, sources close to the matter told the Wall Street Journal. Betaworks founder John Borthwick will be the new CEO of Digg.
“I’ve always been a fan of John’s product vision and the companies he builds, funds, and advises,” said Kevin Rose, co-founder of Digg. “John understands the real-time nature of the web and how to capture and surface trends as they occur. Given his experience with bit.ly, news.me, and Chartbeat I can’t wait to see what he does with Digg.”
Digg is still a prominent site despite the low price tag with over 7,000,000 visitors in May according to comScore. It will be combined with News.me, a service that sends people top news via email from Facebook and Twitter as well as an iPad and iPhone app that does the same. The combined forces may be enough to bring relevance to both that neither was able to gain in recent months.
Digg’s well-publicized switch to V4 in 2010 was the beginning of the downfall for the company that was once courted by the likes of Google. They reportedly turned down an offer of $80 million.
In a blog post, outgoing CEO Matt Williams said, “Digg will join a portfolio of products developed by Betaworks designed to improve the way people find and talk about the news.”
Meanwhile, Reddit, the biggest competitor to Digg in the past, is heading in the other direction.