For a while Digg's users seemed to have peaked at around 20 million, but a slew of changes have made Digg more useful and increased traffic accordingly. Earlier this year the DiggBar was released amid some controversy - it frames linked websites, which many people see as extremely bad manners - and the search system was tweaked to make results more relevant.

The site also integrated Facebook Connect and introduced Digg Ads, a bold move that puts adverts in the regular news stream and enables users to digg or bury them. Meanwhile, the Diggnation podcast remains one of the best podcasts on the net, adding a .net award to its stable of accolades just this week.

Diggnation

DIGGNATION: Famed for its high production values and professionalism, the Diggnation videocast picked up a prestigious .net award just this week

So what's next? An iPhone app is on the cards and the API has been opened up to enable third-party applications to digg and bury stories, and that's likely to be extended so that third-party apps can also submit and comment on stories.

The single front page may also become multiple home pages - "We've always had this universal homepage which we are promoting stories to, but now we are going to start promoting it at a category level to get more longer tail content," Rose says.

Profit ahead

Most significantly of all, Digg is about to become profitable. Speaking to Business News, CEO Jay Adelson reported that Digg Ads are doing brilliantly, achieving click-through rates up to 100 times more than standard display advertising.

Digg Ads are so good, Adelson reckons, that Digg could offer them to other online publishers. For now, though, Digg's priority isn't money: it's growth. As Mashable reports, Digg's traffic "has nearly doubled since August 2008… in the last 30 days alone, the social media website grew by 10.23%."

Mashable reckons such growth means Digg could well be an acquisition target by a firm with deep pockets - and of course we know that Digg has flirted with Yahoo and Google in the past. Could 2010 be the year that Digg finally gets snapped up? We wouldn't bet against it.

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Liked this? Then check out Digg app coming to the iPhone

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