Digg has been rolling out the changes over the last week or two and today a few lucky users, including myself, got access to the beta recommendation feature.

TechCruch mentioned the new feature last week when they got a hold of some leaked screens shots and videos. Muhammad Saleem also did a good post about the feature on ReadWriteWeb that covers much of the new features.

What is the recommendation feature?

“The Recommendation Engine looks at your Digging activity and compares it to all the other users on the site to find the most compatible users. We call these users ‘Diggers like you’. The Recommendation Engine then highlights Upcoming stories that you may find interesting based on these ‘Diggers like you’. This means that as you Digg content that you like, the Recommendation Engine continuously updates to bring you more new and relevant stories.”

I won’t go through all the new features as you can reference the above links and get the majority of the information, but there were a few additional points not mentioned that I will talk about.

1. When you click on upcoming tab from the main page you will automatically land on the new recommendation section landing page, instead of the standard upcoming with all posts included. Obviously this an attempt to get more people to use this new system in the place of the old upcoming sections.

Initially the wording throws you of a little. It will show you recommendations and each recommendation will show you who the recommendation came from; “Recommendation via sungoddess808 (28%)”

I thought there might be some way that you can actually recommend stories to your friends, but a confirmation from Digg clarified that the algorithm actually uses your friends to recommend stories for them.

Something I don’t think was mentioned yet is that the recommended section will only show you submission you have not dugg already. So once you digg something it will no long show in the recommended section.

This might be one of the most appealing aspects of the new feature as the old upcoming sections would often get packed with things you had already read and voted for.

2. While on the recommendations page, you will see recommended diggers in your right sidebar.

“The Recommendation Engine identifies people who Dugg the same stories as you. The more stuff the two of you Dugg in common, the higher the compatibility percentage. If you want to see what stories you have both Dugg, click on the percentage graph next to the person’s name.”

The good thing is that if you don’t want a certain user to be included in the recommendation process you can click on their compatability score and then remove them from the recommendation engine.

3. If you are on the front page of Digg or in the upcoming sections, a new section has been added to the sidebar below the “hot in topic” box.

For all the other points of interest in this new feature, make sure you read over Muhammad’s really good overview.