Digg Adds New Features, Removes One, and Entices YouTubers

Our favorite social news site, Digg, today released a whole slew of new features while silently removing at least one. I say silently because no one seems to have picked up on it. For extensive coverage, check out the official Digg blog, TechCrunch, Read/WriteWeb, Download Squad, or NewTeeVee. Otherwise, read on for a quick summary and the missing feature:

Digg Now Widescreen

The site has moved from a fixed-width layout to a flexible layout, which allows anyone with a widescreen monitor to really notice a difference (I’m using a 15.4″ widescreen right now and like the new look). Also, navigation is now on the top of the screen.

New Top 10

The top 10 hottest Digg stories are easily viewable anywhere you browse. If you’re browsing the front page, you’ll see the top 10 most popular stories on the right hand side updated in real time. If you’re in a particular category or in the upcoming section, you’ll see the top 10 for that category or section.

Watch Videos Inside Digg

Videos get their own direct link in the top navigation now, and you can watch videos from within Digg. Just click any video with a play icon to get a lightbox window which will play the video right there without leaving the site. Digg was already a great place to check out what is popular on the video web. Now it’s even nicer. Why browse multiple video sites when you can see what’s popular in a clean, crisp interface you’re already using?

Podcasting

This feature is in beta and allows you to digg both podcast series and individual podcast episodes. And you can listen to the podcasts without leaving Digg. Again, another move to entice multimedia users to have a place to consolidate / find their favorite podcasts.

What’s Missing?

If you check out your friends section, you’ll notice that friends are no longer broken up into friends you’ve befriended and friends that have befriended you. Friends now appear to be viewable only in terms of friends you have befriended. Interestingly enough, for all the additions today, Digg removed one of the main features that made it a social site in the first place.

Now any sort of socialness coming from the friends feature is gone, as it’s a one-way street. You really only know who you want to be friends with. Though, for most intents and purposes, this is probably a minor loss (even if I’m curious as to the reasoning of removing a social aspect of a social site).

Number One Wish

Digg still feels like the slowest site on the Internet. What’s the deal? Can we all donate a couple bucks for some new servers or something? I feel like I’m on dial-up when I use Digg.