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Digg's recommendation engine boosting traffic, social networking

Site has updated its recommendation engine to be leaner, meaner--and more useful. And it appears to be paying off.

Social news site Digg just posted some preliminary results from the site activity since launching its recommendation engine last month. According to a post on the official Digg blog from engine creator Anton Kast, all-around voting on the site has gone up by 40 percent since launch.

Other numbers that have gone up include commenting (an 11 percent increase) and some of the social networking, which went up nearly a quarter within the past 30 days. Part of the reason for the additional "friending" and profile views are due to the recommendation engine's suggestion of not only stories, but other users you should befriend based on past voting. Kast says more of this will be prevalent on the front page of Digg for registered users as the engine continues to be tweaked.

Also quietly launched was a new version of Digg's mobile site (, which still looks best on iPhones. New to the party is an improved topical categories section, and the option to view more than just the top five comments as ranked by the community. You can now load five more comments at a time, although there's still not a way to rate or view all the comments from your phone.

Still missing as of Thursday is the Facebook connect integration that was announced as part of last week's f8 conference. When in place it will allow Facebook users to log into Digg without registering--something we should be seeing from many third-party sites in the coming months.