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Digg to get a software-free toolbar

Stories submitted to Digg.com are getting their own short URLs and a toolbar that comes along with the story, without the user having to have software installed.

Taking a page from StumbleUpon and the now-defunct MySpace News, Digg appears set to roll out a new feature in beta that will bring some of the Digg.com experience along once users leave the social news site to one of its outbound links.

A Flickr photo shows the new toolbar in action. From it you can see that clicked stories gets both a special Digg-flavored short permalink (like TinyURL provides) along with a new menu bar that appears on the top of the content.

This new bar serves double duty. First it lets you keep an eye on how many other Diggs and comments a story has (regardless of whether it's been on Digg's front page), along with an option to see any related stories that have been featured on Digg.com. It also includes the option to share it with others as a Facebook note, an e-mail, a Digg shout, or a Twitter message. No matter how you do it though, the person getting the link will see the special Digg top bar.

Besides the sharing, one of the most obvious additions is the large, orange random button in the top corner. This will take you to a random site, which if you've ever used StumbleUpon, has the exact same functionality. Based on StumbleUpon going software-free just five months ago, and seeing a huge jump in its users, it's no wonder Digg would want the same kind of tool for its own links.

No word yet on when Digg is going to make this live on its story pages.

(via Veronica Belmont)

The new toolbar appears on top of outgoing Digg.com story links. Scott Meinzer / Flickr