Digg will open up its rumored read/write API. Up until now, developers could only read data from Digg. With the new API, web and desktop apps will also be able to contribute data to Digg. This will allow developers to write desktop and web applications that enable users to, for example, interact with Digg without having to go to the site. Digg will use the OAuth protocol to authorize applications. According to Forbes' Taylor Buley, however, the writable API will not allow users to submit stories remotely.Later today,
Buley spoke to Digg's lead API developer Jeff Hodsdon, who acknowledged that there are still a few obstacles that stand in the way of remote submissions. The two main roadblocks are duplicate detection and captchas. Digg currently makes users jump through a few hoops before they can submit a story. This ensures that the submission pipeline on Digg remains relatively free of duplicate entries and spam. Implementing these safety measures in the API will be difficult.
Competing with the Real-Time Web
As our own Sarah Perez pointed out earlier this year, a full read/write API would allow Digg to compete with the real-time Web. To do this, Digg doesn't really need to enable users to submit stories remotely. What Digg really needs is a way to get more users to vote for stories more often.
Currently, it can take hours - and sometimes days - before a story appears on Digg, while services like Tweetmeme can pick up trends and breaking news stories on Twitter within minutes. To pick up speed, Digg needs to get its voting mechanism into more places - and the new API would allow the company to do just that.