Yesterday we reported on the launch of Digg’s latest iteration of it’s social news platform. Due to server problems that hampered much of Digg’s functionality (including commenting), many users chose to voice their opinions here on ReadWriteWeb. Yesterday we asked you to let us know how you felt about the new Digg, and boy did you ever. The vast majority of comments – both here and on other sites including Digg – are those of disgust and anger over the new Digg, as many believe the site’s core functionality has been inexplicably stripped away.
Yesterday, I noted that it was likely Digg would see a groundswell of negative comments upon launching it’s new platform. I certainly wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of outrage that would come bursting from the Digg community like water from a dam. Clearly, Digg has some issues to deal with as many loyal users have been turned off by the changes.
So what are they so angry about? There are a few major issues, but the majority of it boils down to the fact that some features present in the old Digg have either been removed or altered.
The Bury Button – As long as users have been able to digg the good stories, they’ve been able to bury the bad ones. Digg v4 has done away with burying. Stories can now only be dugg, commented on or saved. Luckily for Digg, this isn’t a hard fix if they so choose to make it. Of the over 2,000 comments yesterday’s story received on Digg, the third most dugg comment is simply, “Where’s my bury button???”
Upcoming – Many of Digg’s loyal users are sorely missing the “Upcoming Stores” section which was found in each category of the site. Digg 4 now only features “Top News” within each topic, but these only include stories which have already broken through with hundreds of diggs.
Many users enjoyed lingering in the Upcoming section to be among early commenters and to help curate which stories made the front page. Now it is almost impossible to find a story within the “Top News” tab with less than a few hundred diggs already to its name. The new “My News” section could be what Digg intends to be a replacement, but this only features stories dugg or commented on by your friends and followers – something users of the old site aren’t exactly thrilled with.
Design and Layout – Some are even displeased with the overall look and feel of the site. Some complain the color scheme lost a lot green and now resembles Facebook’s pale blue tones. On a more practical note, Digg has moved away from pagination to an in-page “Load More” button. This has angered some users because refreshing the page will cause one to lose their place in the pagination. Not everyone, it seems, is a fan of opening links in a new browser tab.
Frequent users of Digg seem most upset by the disruption to their normal routine on the site. Whether it’s pagination, upcoming stories, bury buttons or even things like being able to view stories submitted by a specific user – the new Digg has clearly displaced and upset a large segment of its user base.
Digg is now between a rock and hard place – sticking with their instincts and trying to force some new methods on its users, or bowing to pressure and bringing features back. Will they choose to make their users happy, or will they keep the new features, which have been aimed to help publishers?
The future of Digg will certainly be an interesting one to follow. For more interesting opinions on this issue, check out Alex Whilhem’s post at The Next Web, and Allen Stern’s article at CenterNetworks.