“Social media really grew up,” says Digg founder Kevin Rose in his first interview since Digg sold for just $500K to Betaworks. “Twitter became a major place to find out what was breaking on the Internet,” he said. “Facebook became a place to share links.”
But instead of focusing on the uniqueness of Digg, Rose said they cloned Twitter/Facebook features for a suicidal 2010 redesign. “We did a lot of things that went against the DNA of our product,” he said. Much of the community fled to Reddit, which is growing leaps and bounds despite the influence of Twitter, Facebook (and Tumblr, too).
This is a great lesson to listen to your community and avoid feature distractions. In today’s world of rapid change, it’s more difficult than ever.