SBP Blog

Chronicle of a death foretold: Digg and Delicious

Apr 19, 2011 by Mihai

Social website logos: YouTube, flickr, digg, reddit"What goes up must come down, eventually" - this old saying couldn't be more right in the case of social networking sites. Sites such as Digg, Delicious, Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, which are fighting fearless for our free time, offer (in exchange for our personal information) amusement and a couple of followers.

In the last months of 2010 critics have been hurrying to declare Digg and Delicious dead, while a new platform was picking up the users from the decadent social networks: Reddit. According to the site (, Digg has lost in the March - April 2010 timeframe almost 13.8 unique visitors, this means a drop of 36%. Although founder Kevin Rose has tried to give Digg a fresh look, the 4.0 version released in August, 2010, failed to bring in new users and made the site less user friendly. It seems that people got tired of being told what to do: submit, upload, digg, vote, choose a friend etc., and the latest layoffs can mean only one thing: Digg will be soon turned off.

Concerning Delicious, the social bookmarking site has had a similar downfall path as Digg. Acquired by Yahoo in 2005, Delicious numbered more than 5.3 million users in 2008, at its peak. The glory days are bygone, and the second round of Yahoo layoffs has affected Delicious pretty badly. So, the next best thing that Yahoo can do is to shut down Delicious.

As I've mentioned above, the social website that had to gain from all this turmoil, is Reddit. The strange looking alien succeeds to attract more and more redditors daily, thanks to the many niches it offers, and to stay profitable by selling extra-features through the Reddit Gold option. So, while Digg and Delicious are laying off people, Reddit is buying more servers and extends its staff.

When it comes to Facebook there aren't many new things to be said: Zuckerberg created it, 600 million users visit the site on a regularly basis and the "Social Network" movie made the social site even more profitable.

Of course, no one can guarantee that Reddit and Facebook are going to enjoy such a popularity/prosperity forever, but as long as the sites succeed to keep their users happy, in their turn the users will maintain the pockets of the founders plentiful. So, in order to survive in the long term, a social site needs to find a way to sustain itself and which is going to generate profits (real money).

You can read more on monetizing social websites here

A good example of a surviving story in the social networking world is MySpace. The most popular social site in 2006, in US, MySpace was overthrown by Facebook two years later. Now, the site has found a cozy niche where it relies mostly on advertising to generate its revenues.

With 43.2 million unique visitors per month, MySpace succeeds where Digg and Delicious have failed. So, a fresh idea isn't enough to stay in this business, one also needs to think about revenues and how can make the social site profitable.

Tags: Business  Future 


David @SEO-writer commented on 5/30/2011 1:54:57 PM

Yes, there is no guarantee that FaceBook and Reddit will continue to float. Propeller is gone. Furl is gone. Mixx is gone.

I am always reminded of the days when Alta Vista ruled the search engine niche and when IBM ruled the computer niche.


Mihai commented on 6/2/2011 4:23:35 PM

Hi David - yes, the web audience is quite tough on social media websites. From a plethora of social websites, not too many will survive, and it's not that surprising - considering that their offers are so similar in nature (not enough distinctive points), and therefore there's a huge competition among them.

Also, the initial success of social media websites was more or less viral in nature (therefore likely to go down after a while).

I'm curious to see who is going to buy MySpace, it seems that it's out for sale, at just $100 million valuation. In 2005 it would have been a good investment -
now... not so much.

Pilates commented on 7/14/2011 9:18:15 AM

I’m starting to explore the world of Social Bookmarking, its clever the rating system as boring sites will not get much attention/bookmarked. I always prefer to use Digg...

Oana commented on 7/15/2011 12:15:45 PM

I still visit Digg, but lately their news/articles aren't very relevant. Instead, I prefer to go to dzone.

rental software commented on 8/26/2011 8:10:29 AM

of all these social media websites mentioned,i love myspace the most,maybe for a more personal reasons.well may the best social website remain standing...

advantages of outsourcing commented on 8/31/2011 7:49:17 PM

Yahoo has sold Delicious due to these reason. Actually, Facebook has become very popular among the users and they don't visit other social networking sites like Digg, delicious , etc.

Oana commented on 9/1/2011 4:11:13 PM

Re: advantages of outsourcing

It takes quite a lot of time to update all accounts and to follow friends on various social sites, so I think that most of use update on a regular basis no more than 1-2 account. I can't say that I have a favorite site, but Twitter is easy to use and keeps me updated with all that matters for me.

What do you think about Google +? Have you tried it out?


translation services commented on 10/10/2011 12:04:18 PM

I have tried the Google's social networking site Google Plus. It has some unique features and its picture quality is very high. But it can't be as popular as Facebook.

Oana commented on 10/10/2011 2:53:56 PM

Google has done a really good job with Google+, probably the former experience with Google Buzz has helped too. Regarding Google+ vs. Facebook, my opinion is that things will slow down for the latter social network, as it's already way up and I don't see where it can further go, while the former will attract even more users who want a fresh concept and not to be suffocated by ads.

Of course, we'll just have to wait and see :)

website translation commented on 10/28/2011 7:23:43 AM

Nice post. Social Networking Sites are more popular in present time. Personally I like facebook more than twitter. I do not try Google+. I see it.

Oana commented on 10/31/2011 11:15:18 AM

Re: website translation

Thank you. I agree, social sites have become an important communication tool (keeping in touch with friends and family), but also a new way of promoting products and even oneself.

we have phones commented on 11/2/2011 10:47:37 AM

social bookmarking site having some similar downfall path as Digg was Acquired by Yahoo in 2005.

Oana commented on 12/3/2011 12:05:55 PM

Re: we have phones

It seems that Digg is still struggling to keep users interested, they even adjusted the layout of the website, however its fall continues. According to website, the unique visitors no. is down to 2,680,748.

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