Report: Digg acquires Kevin Rose's WeFollow
Mashable and TechCrunch report that Digg has acquired Kevin Rose's side project, WeFollow.
Kevin Rose started a new side project in March called WeFollow aimed at creating a Twitter directory in which any user can add their account to a category. Users are then ranked in the various categories on the site, creating a good way to see who the top Twitterers are in a given subject area. The rumor is now that Digg has acquired WeFollow.
Mashable noticed that the copyright on the bottom of WeFollow now reads "(c) 2009, Digg Inc." This would appear to mean that Digg has in some way come into possession of WeFollow. TechCrunch reports that WeFollow has in fact transferred the ownership of the site over to Digg, with no financial transaction attached. By this account, Rose just gave the site and its technology to his real baby, Digg, at no cost.
With this "acquisition," Digg is clearly looking to add some sort of Twitter or real-time component to the site. TechCrunch speculates that this new functionality will allow Digg to surface top stories on Twitter based on the data that WeFollow can gather. Additionally, WeFollow itself is tweaking its algorithm to give more weight in its rankings to those who tag themselves properly. This should help to cut down on people putting themselves in unrelated categories just to get more exposure.
Initially, this deal appeared to be a way for Rose to be able to cash out on WeFollow at the expense of his other company, Digg. However, now that it has come to light that Digg acquired WeFollow and its technology for nothing, it just appears to be a smart strategic move on the part of Rose to bring some real-time functionality to Digg.