Digg's long-awaited images section will go live later tonight. Similar to the way Facebook's sharing tool works, users submitting stories to Digg will have the option to pick and choose from thumbnails that have been crawled from whatever URL was supplied. There's no need to upload anything, or hotlink to an image--it'll simply be made available. To help users sort through it, Digg has also reconfigured Digg's category system, letting users submit all three types of media (news, images, and video) into any category. This aims to get rid of the previous system of users figuring out their own ways to get through Digg's limited categorization methods, by inserting "[PIC]" or "[VIDEO]" into submitted titles.
To help make use of the new visual draw, Digg's also launching a new way to browse through images using a "mosaic" view. It looks a little bit like Johnathan Harris' 10x10 project by organizing upcoming and popular stories in a cloud of thumbnails (which you can see in the screenshot at the bottom of the post). The company is also attempting to curb duplicate submissions using image recognition from Toronto-based Idee Inc, which is already listing Digg on its featured clients page.
One of the more interesting tidbits from the launch of Digg images is the partnership with Photobucket. The photo service is supplying integration with member images, giving users a new submission button that will jump them straight to a tailored Digg images submission page, as well as giving Photobucket users a whole new channel of photos that have been submitted to Digg. If you've been keeping track of any of the Digg buyout rumors, you should know that Digg's recently gotten deep integration with the News Corp.-owned Wall Street Journal to let WSJ readers submit stories to Digg, while allowing Digg users to read the premium content free of charge. Photobucket also happens to be owned by News Corp. While News Corp. owns two of those pieces (WSJ and Photobucket), why not go for all three?