Yahoo Buzz is a social media experiment by Yahoo! that is currently in a closed beta. We found out today what kind of boost Buzz is giving the current selected blogs and news sources - Muhammad Saleem wrote that it is giving publishers huge bumps in both traffic and comments. Muhammad, you'll recall, wrote on ReadWriteWeb just about the only positive review of Yahoo Buzz when it first launched. In case you missed it, let's revisit the reasons why Buzz is a game changer. And why Digg is in big trouble...
First the facts. Yahoo told ReadWriteWeb that "Yahoo.com has sent approximately 16 million total referrals to just a subset of the publishers in the beta during the first two weeks via Buzzing Now links in the Featured section of the homepage." Yahoo gave us the following data to back this up:
Early Publisher Results Yahoo! Buzz Beta (Feb 27, 2008 Mar 10, 2008):
· Salon.com reached over 1 million uniques in one day for the first time in the company's 12-year history, after Yahoo.com linked to one of their highly "buzzed" stories (they issued this press release)
· US Magazine: In part due to a Yahoo.com link, February 27th was the second highest day in overall Usmagazine.com traffic since its launch in June 2006. Referral visits from the Yahoo! homepage accounted for 32% of total visits that day.
· When Yahoo.com linked to one of their stories, The Smoking Gun received approximately 1 million additional page views over their average traffic, with over 275,000 visitors coming from the Yahoo! homepage.
· Portfolio.com (part of Conde Net) received over half a million referral visits from a Yahoo.com Buzzing Now link.
· HuffingtonPost received over 800,000 unique visitors from Yahoo.com in one day.
· Dallas Morning News traffic spiked as a result of their Yahoo.com Buzzing Now link, making the featured story their most viewed single story on dallasnews.com that day.
· Imaginova: Space.com and LiveScience.com articles were featured and linked to directly from Yahoo!'s homepage and both sites saw significant increases in daily visitors and traffic after being featured for just 2 hours.
Note: TechCrunch also has some data from Yahoo Buzz, which is a little different to ours. They're both worth noting. Also TechCrunch itself got a link from the Yahoo homepage and despite it being a Saturday, they had their "highest traffic day ever and over 1,000 comments were left on the post."
Wait, What's Yahoo Buzz Again?
Muhammad explained in his earlier post: "Imagine if Digg had 10 times the incoming traffic, and got a percentage of ad-revenue from each of the sites that were promoted to the front page. Yahoo! Buzz does essentially that."
Publishers, Stop Drooling...
Up till now, bloggers have relied on niche - but still powerful - aggregators to get people reading their content. For tech bloggers, Digg, Slashdot and even StumbleUpon have been the places to be - particularly on the front pages of those sites. I'm sure there are similar aggregators that political bloggers, entertainment bloggers etc aspire to get on.
Now, publishers are rightly salivating at the prospect of being featured on Yahoo Buzz. But batten down your servers first! And there is the little matter of being selected to participate in this still exclusive club.
Watch out Digg, Yahoo is Eating Your Lunch
Yahoo.com is the ultimate aggregator of them all. What's more, it is precisely the holy grail that digg has been reaching for - MAINSTREAM users. While digg has been desperately trying to make itself into a mainstream social news site - and it has succeeded to a degree, as its front page now includes politics, entertainment and other non-tech stories - it hasn't got anywhere near the punch that Yahoo.com still packs. Simply put, Yahoo.com has the audience. And now it is implementing digg features.
This spells massive trouble to digg, because now why would Yahoo want to buy digg? It means one less potential buyer for digg. And there weren't that many to begin with, because probably only a big Internet/media company would be willing to shell out the multi-millions that digg wants. Buzz is proving that Yahoo can implement the features; and the users are already liking it - because they are clicking the links and commenting on them (if TechCrunch's case is any indication).
Digg's own users won't abandon digg for Buzz, that isn't the issue here. But this looks to be a case of the social media pie getting bigger... much bigger! Social news is going mainstream. This is potentially great for niche blogs, when Buzz opens up for all. It's certainly great news for Yahoo.com readers, because they'll be exposed to a whole new world of quality, fast blog content. But it's bad news for digg, whose aspirations to go mainstream are looking increasingly fragile.
SEE ALSO: Why Yahoo! Buzz is a Brilliant Idea