News aggregator Digg may no longer be the internet force it once was, but it still offers an interesting and engaging selection of curated news articles and videos across a number of categories, from science and technology to viral Internet memes. Now, the company will bring those articles to its users in messaging and communications applications, beginning with Slack, instead of requiring people to visit Digg’s homepage directly.
The launch of DiggBot, as this new functionality is called, is part of a larger trend which sees news and media organizations (including TechCrunch!) delivering their news in a more messaging-like format. Inspired in part by mobile users’ preferences for short-form content consumption and the popularity of messaging apps, the idea with these bots is to bring the news to the places where users spend the majority of their time on mobile: messaging apps.
There are a number of examples of news organizations on chat platforms today, including Huffington Post on Viber Public Chats, Washington Post on Kik, BBC on WhatsApp, BuzzFeed on LINE, and others. Quartz, meanwhile, launched a standalone app that feels like a mobile messenger, and delivers stories in an interactive, chat-like format.
It’s not surprising then, to see an organization like Digg now join the fray.
The company says that its DiggBot is still in its early phases, but for now it can find content based on keywords, and will send you items throughout the day that it believes are trending or important. In addition, Twice a day DiggBot will send a summary package of articles and videos that will help you catch up if you’ve been heads down in your work.
To use the bot, you type in “/digg” (sans quotes) followed by a command, like a keyword you want to search for, “trending” (on/off), “edition”, “fun”, or others. It can also track March Madness with the keyword “madness.” (See chart below).
The bot works by tapping into Digg’s collection of aggregated content, including its over 10 million RSS feeds, 200 million tweets of which, 40 million include links. This results in 7.5 million articles and videos ranked by Digg’s algorithms daily, then curated by an in-house editorial team.
At launch, the bot is available on Slack’s communications platform, but Digg says that it will arrive on other messaging services “soon.”