At a hipster bar in San Francisco at 5 p.m. today, Digg unveiled its official version 3.0, which will launch on June 26. To the surprise of nobody (since Valleywag leaked screenshots of a beta), Digg now lets users flag more than just tech stories. The new categories are World & Business, Entertainment, Science, and Gaming.
The product also bookmarks video files, which shouldn't be a big deal (a bookmark is a bookmark, I would think), but given the growing traffic in this media type, some special treatment might be called for.
Finally, since Digg is now covering more content areas, some of which may not be of interest to all users. The site will now allow users to personalize the front page so that they see the categories they're interested in and not the ones they don't care about.
Will Digg's position as a clearinghouse of what's important among tech-heads translate to the broader audience of people interested in more topic areas? While many think Netscape's new quasi-social-bookmarking site is a Digg rip-off, the fact is that Netscape has an impressive audience, and its new Digg-like features will likely help Netscape remain relevant to its users.
I imagine that Digg's new categories will help its audience grow a bit, although I expect that Digg will remain primarily a service for a particular subset of users (geeks), who, of course, have interests that go beyond technology. If anything, this new move by Digg will keep it from losing its loyal users to other well-rounded bookmarking sites. But I, for one, do not really want Digg to become the bookmark site for the entire universe of users. Digg has a great, focused community today. Diluting it by bringing in masses of new nongeek users will not make it better.
This post has been corrected from the original (launch date was wrong).