Digg 3.0 Launches, First Thoughts

The much anticipated Digg 3.0 launched this morning as promised.

My first thoughts are – it’s beautiful, although it isn’t stable yet (search in particular seems to be breaking, although there are other small bugs too). The integration of Ajax to move between topics and betwen headline and new stories is really well done, and is by far my favorite feature.

With regard to the new features, I get the impression that Digg is trying to get good stories up to the home page as fast as possible, something I didn’t really pick up on in our podcast with the Digg founders. At least three features seem to push this.

First, putting an “upcoming” stories tab right next to the headlines tab makes it much easier to switch between the two categories, so more users will look at upcoming stories too, instead of just reviewing the headlines. Second, the “cloud view” (not a new feature) for upcoming area clearly shows which stories have momentum by making them bigger in the tag cloud – these stories will naturally draw more attention and diggs, more quickly pushing them to the front page than before. Finally, the new “agreed on” feature to see stories that at least two of your friends have dugg (in left sidebar) will again draw user attention to those popular but not yet headline stories. Combined, these features make it much easier for users to see stories that have a lot of momentum but aren’t yet on the home page. I will ask Digg if one of their goals is to get stories to the home page faster than before, and if the new features are successful in doing that.