Can You Digg It?

Betaworks Releases Preview of New Digg: ‘Beautiful, Image-Friendly and Ad-Free’

But can it take on Reddit?
 Betaworks Releases Preview of New Digg: Beautiful, Image Friendly and Ad Free

v1 wireframes. (Photo: Rethink Digg)

The clock is ticking for the team at Betaworks, which has promised to overhaul its newly-acquired social news site Digg by Thursday. Today the team published a preview of V1, complete with photos of design wireframes and some hints as to what we can expect of the new release.

Rethink Digg stresses that V1 will adhere to minimalist themes. Many of the bloated features tacked on to the old version of Digg as an afterthought–features that drove many of its users permanently to Reddit–will be lumped off in favor of three core principles: “Top Stories, Popular and Upcoming.”

Hmm, that sounds familiar.

Another interesting tidbit: “The experience must be fast and thin. Let users go, and they will come back to you. We optimize for return visits, not pageviews per visit.” This means that Digg is looking to build a strong community with return visitors, as opposed to constructing an empire based on unique content. It’s a strategy Reddit does well, so it will be interesting to see if the new Digg can also achieve it.

Rethink Digg also says that V1 won’t include a commenting system, because getting commenting right is a major challenge, and one they knew they couldn’t accomplish in six weeks. Makes sense, since people who have been working on comments for decades still haven’t really nailed down a good strategy.

Finally, the new Digg score will be an aggregation of “Diggs,” Facebook likes and tweets, in order to “surface ‘what the Internet is talking about,’ when the Internet is talking beyond the walls of Digg.com.”

We’re excited to see what V1 will offer–we just hope it can successfully differentiate itself from the all-powerful Reddit.

Follow Jessica Roy on Twitter or via RSS. jroy@observer.com