Recently, Digg announced the release of new buttons and widgets for the site. This update comes amid much speculation after CEO Jay Adelson’s announcement at SXSW that the popular social news and networking site is to undergo a massive overhaul.

The coolest part of the new release is that clicking on a Digg button from a site no longer takes you to to then vote or comment on a submission. Now all the actions keep the user on the originating site, which should make a lot of publishers happy.

The New Buttons

The new buttons come in three different sizes (plus a much smaller icon). As you can see, the ‘Digg’ text has been replaced with a very simple thumbs-up. With an agenda for expansion clearly on table, it makes sense for these buttons to feature a more universal symbol of approval than the word Digg.

Old and New Compared:

– All buttons will dynamically update to show how many diggs the page has received. Previously, the button would have to be reloaded to show the latest number of diggs.

– If a reader clicks on the digg button, instead of navigating to the digg page, a pop up opens. From here they can digg the story, see other popular pages from that domain and navigate to digg to read the comments. Previously, clicking anyway on the Digg button would take the reader to the submission page on Digg.

– Publishers can create custom designed buttons for their site. Previously, there were fewer sizes to choose from and no option to easily customize via Digg.

All smart Digg buttons that are already out in the wild will automatically update in the next few weeks. You can find more information and guidelines on getting the most of the updated feature on the Digg button page.

The New Widget Generator

The new widget generator is very slick. Again, the emphasis seems to be on a more user-friendly design and more options for customization.

Old and New Compared:

– There are tons more options for custom design and the process is incredibly quick and easy to use, with an instant preview of changes. The old version did provide a customizable widget alongside its set themes, but it wasn’t anywhere near as flexible as the new release.

– The customize options also include multiple tabs and columns. This wasn’t an option in the old version

– The headlines of the stories featured in the widget now navigate directly to the content (using the DiggBar), rather than to the submission page on

There’s no information on whether existing widgets will update the way they link to stories.

As a last point of interest, the announcement mentions the recent custom-built widget integration on the Telegraph (a UK news source) as an example of how this new generator might allow websites to use the widget. In this example, traffic from Digg to the site increased ten fold, from 500 thousand page views per month to over 5.5 million page views per month.

Surely a fairly strong indicator of just how popular this new feature could become.
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