There has been a lot of conversations over the last few months about Digg’s changes to their algorithm. The amount of Diggs required for most users was increased dramatically and caused a lot of frustration. Where you used to require up to potentially 125 Diggs to reach the front page, users are noticing some submissions requiring well over 200 now.

Here is a screen shot of what it takes to even get into the “upcoming/most” page:

diggs-upcoming.jpg

The small uproar of unhappy Digg users managed to get the attention of Kevin Rose and Jay Adelson, who joined an episode of the Drill Down to discuss the changes. During the conversation they mentioned that they make changes to the algorithm on a regular basis, and would watch to see if the increase in Diggs required would turn out to be a bad choice or not.

Digg went down Tuesday, 25 March 2008, for about 1 hour for scheduled maintenance. It appears they have decided to indeed make another change to the algorithm, but in a different way.

It would appear that Digg has extended the time a story will remain in the “upcoming” section and have the potential to reach the front page of Digg.

Posts before the update would normally be removed from the “upcoming” section after they reached 1 day old. If they were in the top of the “upcoming/most” section or were receiving a large amount of activity, they would be given up to 1 day 10 minutes before being removed.

After the update, all posts receive 1 day 10 minutes before being removed from the “upcoming” section. If the submission is in the top of the “upcoming/most” section or receiving a large amount of activity, they are given up to 1 day 45 minutes before being removed.

In the image below, taken on the day of the update, a story was at the top of the “upcoming/most” and was receiving a large amount of activity, but was not removed until 1 day 45 minutes after it’s submission. I actually saw three examples of this on Tuesday but my image program crashed and lost two examples.

new-digg-timer1.jpg

If you were to sort the upcoming section by “oldest“, you will notice all posts, even those with a single Digg, remain in the “upcoming” section until they are 1 day 10 minutes old.

digg-1day10min.jpg

It would appear that Digg has decided too many stories were not making it to the front page because of the increased number of Diggs each submission now takes. This is the fix they decided to implement, instead of allowing stories to be promoted to the front page with a lower Digg threshold.

“I think its a good idea because stories will get more exposure due to the extra time. It would however be more useful to increase the promotion rate of stories as well, in order to accomodate for important breaking news.” – MakiMaki

I tried to get a comment and confirmation on this change from Digg, but the staff indicated they could not comment on changes relating to the algorithm.

Whatever the reasoning behind the change, you all now have an little extra window of opportunity to make the front page of Digg with your submissions.

Edit: It appears on May 21, 2008, that the time has been even further extended. People have mentioned that they have seen submission in upcoming as late as 1 day 6 hours. The best I could find to get a screen shot of was 1 day 3 hours as seen below: