A Little Perspective (Digg, Twitter, Facebook)

It wasn’t all that long ago that Digg captured our collective imagination. In fact, even last year Google thought it was important enough to seriously consider buying Digg, only to back out at the last minute. Digg was the future of news. It was crowdsourced, democratic editorial. The masses decided what was news, not some 50 year old guy in a skyscraper in New York, who secretly hated the Internet.

a lot of the shine has come off Digg. And while it still drives a tremendous amount of traffic, it’s amazing to see just how completely it has been eclipsed by Twitter, which in turn is still just a drop in the Facebook bucket.

Comscore worldwide data says Digg, Twitter and Facebook have 32 million, 58 million and 411 million unique monthly visitors (September 2009), respectively. Google Trends says much the same thing, but the growth over time is fascinating visually. We started with Digg, then added Twitter, and then added Facebook. In the end, Digg and Twitter are just footnote blips in the chart.

About a third of all Internet users worldwide visited Facebook in September 2009, says Comscore. A year ago it was 17%. And what about Digg? They grew from 15 million worldwide unique visitors a year ago to 32 million today. And they tripled page views to 171 million. So it’s not really about Digg doing anything wrong. They just pale in comparison to the guys currently in the spotlight – Twitter and Facebook.

If you could only use one service, which one would you choose? I’d be unhappy about the forced decision, but I’d go with Twitter, even with all its flaws.