The launch of Digg‘s redesign will likely go down in the history of social media as a textbook example for how to alienate your users. Over the last few weeks we have chronicled the demise of the Digg community in great detail, but thanks to the latest data from Hitwise, we now have some hard facts about the current state of Digg. At its peak, Digg had over 40 million unique visitors every month. Since the launch of the redesign, Digg’s traffic has been in free fall, though. Traffic from visitors in the U.S. has declined 26% since the redesign went live.

Traffic from visitors in the U.K. (arguably a smaller market for Digg) declined by 34%.

While Digg has now stabilized the site and added numerous features that its users were asking for, it’s hard not to notice that the level of activity on the site has also declined. Currently, it only takes about 200 diggs for a story to appear in the daily top 10 list, and quite a few stories on the front page regularly get fewer than 30 comments.

Reddit Traffic: Only Up 2.6% (Updated)

While there has been a lot of talk about how the service’s competitor Reddit would profit from Digg’s decline, Hitwise only noticed a relatively small increase in traffic to the site. While there are surely numerous Digg refugees who found shelter on Reddit, overall traffic to the site only went up 2.6% since the launch of the new Digg. (Update 2: I just got an update from Hitwise. Reddit saw 2.6% growth in the U.K. according to Hitwise. For the U.S., Hitwise saw a 15% increase in visits to the site.)

Update 1: Reddit’s lead developer Christopher Slowe just contacted us with updated traffic numbers for reddit. According to these numbers – which come directly out of Google Analytics – Hitwise’s numbers for Reddit are wrong. Overall, traffic to Reddit increased 24% over the last two months (mostly during the month since the Digg relaunch) and these numbers are holding steady.