Digg announced that it will be rolling out its beta ad program later this week. In addition to the community's existing banner ads, the company is launching an initial set of ads to appear in rotation with regular content. From here, users will interact with the ads in the same way they interact with articles - by digging, burying and commenting on them. Advertising with a high number of Diggs will fetch lower ad revenue and buried advertisers will be charged more.In today's blog post by Chief Strategy Officer Mike Maser,
ReadWriteWeb covered Kevin Rose's suggestion for this advertising system in April. The program will be launched this week for testing to a select few users before making a public release.
Says Maser to the community, "The success of this system depends on your participation and feedback, as it will help advertisers to create the best possible experience for the Digg community. Our goal with Digg Ads is to encourage advertisers to create content as compelling as organic Digg stories, and to give you more control over which ads you see on Digg.
It will be interesting to see which advertisers attempt to game the system by digging their own ads, and how fast these ads will be buried. The official June announcement of the Digg ad program received more than 400 comments within the community, and surprisingly many of them are very positive. While critics argue that the ads will simply be buried and advertisers will stop paying for placement, others called this "marketing democracy." A few commenters pointed to the fact that they already use Adblock - a Firefox extension that allows users to filter out advertising content. Nevertheless, others chastise Adblock users for not supporting the community they enjoy. In a community as opinionated as Digg's, it will be interesting to see how the first users react to this new play for revenue.