Reddit goes from 'sucked' to 'works' in 2010, to overpower Digg

  @ibtimes on January 04 2011 9:52 AM

If the developments in the first week of the new year is anything to go by, 2011 is most likely to be a game-changer in internet and social media spaces. After an online measurement service Experian Hitwise revealed that social networking site Facebook overtook search engine giant Google as the most visited site in 2010, the social news website Reddit has emerged as a force to reckon with for its rival Digg.

Indulging in a little bit of self-promotion, Reddit posted a review of performance 2010, in which it declared that the site has gone from sucked to works.

The data released by the company compares performance between the month of January 2010 and December 2010. In January, Reddit had 250 million pageviews, which grow into an impressive 829 million pageviews in December 2010. The average time per visit went up from 12 minutes 41 seconds to 15 minutes 21 seconds. The site also increased the memory (ram) from 424 GB to 1214 GB while memory (disks) went up from 16TB to 48TB. Bytes in went up from 2.8 trillion to 8.1 trillion while bytes out grew from 10.1 trillion to 44.4 trillion.

Akamai hits aren't included in the bandwidth totals, the company said, before proudly announcing of some non-computer-related numbers: money raised for Haiti: $185,356.70; money raised for DonorsChoose: $601,269; signatures on the petition that got Cyanide & Happiness's Dave into America: 150,000; verified gifts received on Arbitrary Day: 2954; verified secret santa gifts received: 13,000 and countries that have sent us a postcard: 63.

Reddit took a bite out of Digg?

Reddit's announcement of its phenomenal growth in 2010 is being attributed to a reported exodus of visitors from Digg.

Digg, which long been the bigger social news site, suffered a fall in 2010 due to internal as well as external factors. The once super hot start-up witnessed massive layoffs and three CEOs in the past year. Reports suggested that Digg's venture capitalists were frustrated that they had yet to see a return on the $40 million invested in the company despite the layoffs and other measures to improve profitability.

The site also had to face the consequences of the failure of its Digg Version 4, which was designed with changes to make the site more democratic, personalized and mainstream. The new version was riddled with bugs and some downtime issues. This vexed the users leading to a huge migration from Digg to Reddit, which offered same services minus the problems.

According to Compete.com, Digg has suffered a massive decline in traffic, from 8 million users per month to 5 million users over the past year. The site had 7,917,099 visitors in November 2009 while in November 2010 it recorded 5,283,608 visitors. The height of traffic was in July 2010 with 8,093,641 unique visitors.

Even though the majority of the tech observers seem to be of the opinion that Reddit gained from Digg's misfortunes, a fraction disagrees. According to former ReadWriteWeb writer Frederic Lardinois, Reddit's growth and Digg's fall are unrelated. In his piece on his personal blog Newsgrange, he argues that though the data shows a major dip for Digg but no similar spike for Reddit, quoting Quantcast. He concludes that Reddit's success isn't so much attributable to Digg's stumbles but to Reddit's own success and organic growth.

Whatever may be the reason behind Reddit's upsurge, the Conde Nast-owned site now faces the challenge of sustaining the momentum.

Meanwhile, the company has now kicked off the annual 'Best of Reddit' awards for categories: Comment of the Year, Commentator of the Year, Submission of the Year, Submitter of the Year,  Novelty Account of the Year, Moderator of the Year, and Community of the Year.

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