In an effort to improve “shareability” and make the site more sticky, Digg is experimenting with embedded images on the Digg submission permalinks.
For months, Digg has had (off and on at times) inline videos that could be played directly from the Digg post page for certain video sites like YouTube and Break. Last night, Digg started rolling out embedded images as well.
The idea is to improve the ability for their links to be shared on other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Digg has always been an aggregator of content rather than a place where people can see the actual pieces. Instead of sharing a Digg link, visitors would have to click from Digg to the source to see the image. As a result, the sharing was most likely done to the source rather than the Digg link.
Now (or whenever the bugs are worked out), visitors to the site will be able to see the full image and share it directly from the Digg page itself. This move is a smart one for Digg as it will not only increase sharing of internal links, it will also improve site stickiness. Any time someone has to click to another site to see the image, there’s a chance that they will remain on that site rather than going back to Digg.
There are a few bugs, of course, but it seems to be working well otherwise. In most cases of images submissions currently, they are only displaying the thumbnail. In other cases, the wrong image is displayed, such as this:
The Gravatar logo is displayed instead of the intended image on the blog page. Oddly enough, the Gravatar logo is not visible on the source post.
There will be complaints from publishers who will charge Digg with holding back on clicks and keeping the visitors to themselves, but they will still get good traffic if the post hits the front page. If anything, this should increase an image-submissions chances of making it if the content is strong enough.
Despite the upcoming complaints, this is a great move for Digg. Leveraging other social media sites is important to their success and is a feature not present on some of the other social news sites like Reddit and Slashdot. From a pure users’ perspective, it saves a click, making it easier to see the content without having to click to a new tab.
If the bugs get fixed, this will be a positive change that will increase overall site traffic. Digg is a site that helps content go viral. Now, they’ll have a better chance of going viral themselves.
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Read more about Digg on this social media blog.