TechCrunch says that both Microsoft and Google (as well as others [perhaps News Corp.]) will be bidding in the $200 million range for social news site Digg. Neither MSFT nor Google has a really good social network — through both would disagree. But both have news, Microsoft with MSNBC and Google with Google News, which a journalist friend derisively referred to as the “random news generator.”
What’s more interesting is what Digg might become, a kind of all-purpose recommendations engine. From my previous post on the subject:
They hope to provide a system whereby people can Digg just about anything, from restaurants, products, images and not just news and videos.
Unless there are some fundamental changes to the site it’s no threat to the major local players but it could be popular with selected user segments (young males primarily).
That last bit potentially changes in the hands of Microsoft or Google. Of course there are many “ifs” here, but it will be interesting to see how either company develops Digg further if it indeed bids and wins. A traditional media company like News Corp. might focus on news or news-like content and be less inclined to “build out” the site in other areas.