Digg Takes On StumbleUpon With New Toolbar

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Digg Takes On StumbleUpon With New Toolbar

Social news site Digg.com is beta testing a toolbar, similar to the one from StumbleUpon, to provide the Digg experience to users who move from Digg to any of its outbound links.

Digg claims to have 36 million unique visitors, making it one of the most popular social news sites. However, StumbleUpon is growing in popularity silently and Twitter, with 6 million users, is generating a lot more publicity off-late and is even being pegged as a serious search destination and a source of real-time news.

Once thought to be the next big thing and a likely acquisition target for Google and Microsoft, Digg is now just another old Web 2.0 era site – it’s not going downhill, but it’s yesterday’s news. All rumours and interest in the site have died down a bit. The new toolbar seems to have finally kicked some life back into Digg.

The new toolbar and associated status bar icon take the functionality of the current Firefox browser add-on, shown below, further. The current toolbar add-on tells users how many Diggs and comments a particular has received. The status bar icon pops up notifications of popular stories and related stories on the site.

Digg Toolbar and Notifications pop-up for Firefox

Digg Firefox Add-On

The current version of the toolbar allows users to customise the topics for which they receive recommendations. Clicking the Digg button currently takes users to the Digg site, where they then log in and Digg the story.

Future versions are expected to allow users to Digg stories from the toolbar itself, just like StumbleUpon allows users to vote from the toolbar itself.

Rumours spread last week talked about a new software-free toolbar, pictured below, similar to the one from StumbleUpon, being in the works. The new toolbar has a large orange “random” button in the top corner of the page taking users to random sites, again in the same manner as StumbleUpon does.

New Digg Toolbar

StumbleUpon launched their software-free toolbar five months ago and have since reported a substantial growth in the number of its users. Digg surely hopes to be able to do the same.

The toolbar also has a TinyURL-like facility, that is the toolbar can create a shortened URL for each page. These URLs will begin with ‘http://digg.com/ followed by a six character code, which automatically gets used when the page is shared through Twitter or Facebook. This could be a great advantage to Digg as the shortened URL will be created with a single click of the mouse after typing http://digg.com/ in front of the URL.

There is no confirmation yet on when this toolbar will be released for general use.