The Digg Team Is Going To WaPo, But The Assets Aren’t

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Has The Washington Post acquired Digg, as reported in The Next Web? Sort of.

We’re hearing that the Post has hired the Digg team, but is not acquiring the site or the technology. In other words, this is a talent acquisition, and in fact Digg properties, patents, and assets are still for sale.

TheNextWeb’s report provoked some “what the hell?reactions on Twitter, but a talent acquisition makes a little more sense. The Post isn’t trying to revive a struggling social news site. Instead, it’s recruiting a team that can help develop its Trove social news platform, as well as Trove-powered products like its Social Reader and Personal Post.

Digg, meanwhile, seems to be fading, especially after a controversial redesign in 2010. Co-founder Kevin Rose took over the CEO role in early 2010, but stepped down for a more advisory role a year later. (His new startup, Milk, was acquired by Google.) Supposedly, traffic has started growing again, thanks to integration with Facebook Timeline, but it may not have been enough to convince the company or its investors that there’s a real future here.

I’ve contacted both The Washington Post and Digg for comment and will update if I hear back. (Update: A Post spokesperson says the company has no comment.)

Additional reporting by Alexia Tsotsis.